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The 1AT games magazine of the future 



^ £4 www. totalgames 




INVESTIGATED 

LET'S DO 
LUNCH 

A moment on the lips, 
a lifetime of hits 

FEATURE 

EVOLUTION 
OF GAMING 

Crossbreeding genres 



nTSP 



w, 



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-PRIME 

~7s this the game that 
will change the 
GameCube's fortunes? 





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GBA J Arcade \ Retro gaming 



FULL REVIEWS 

THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD 3 

[XB/ARC] 

SIM CITY 4 

[PC] 

PHANTASY STAR ONUNE 



i 



\ 


THE SIMS 

[PS2/PC1 


f 


AUTO MODELUSTA 

[PS2] 




i BATTLE ENGINE AQUILA 

[XB/PS2] 




M T0EJAM& EARL III 

[XB] 




THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: 
A LINK TO THE PAST 

[GBA] 




STAR WARS: BOUNTY HUNTER 

FPS7/GP1 




[IOZ./UL/J 

DEAD TO RIGHTS 

[XB/GC/PS2] 


s *S 


BUBBLE BOBBLE 

[GBA] 




APE ESCAPE 2 


A 


[PS2] 

IKARUGA 

feci 



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wku don't know whafs comincr. ..I' 
Tatsuya Minami, Capcom 

NETWORK 



T EVIL 4 



180 

PAGES OF 

ESSENTIAL 

GAMING 



This year should prove to be something of a milestone 
for those of us who engage in pleasures of a digital 
nature: 2003 will see Broadband finally becoming 
available to PlayStation and Xbox gamers, opening up a 
plethora of new and exciting gaming experiences. 
However, if the burgeoning (and pricey) prospect of 
Broadband gaming doesn't yet appeal it's also looking to 
be a vintage year for videogames - the market is finally 
showing signs of improvement thanks, in part, to the fact 
that both the Xbox and GameCube have got into their 
stride. And GameCube owners have much to rejoice 
about with the next 12 months offering them possibly the 
best games line-up of any system. So to keep up with the 
exciting times ahead, games™ will be hitting the shelves 
on a monthly basis from this issue onwards, which we'd 
like to think is also good news for gamers. For now 
though, enjoy this issue safe in the knowledge that we'll 
be with you every step of the way. 




D 



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Simon Phillips, Group Editor 



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GAMES TM 



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ISSUE 2 



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ISSUE 1 



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HOW HIGH CAN VOU GET 



www.totalgames.net 



02 03 



CONTENTS l2 



96 


M 









FEATURES 
32 Community 



If there's one place in world we'd choose 
to have a job making games, it would 
have to be down in sunny California. 

40 Evolution Of 
Gaming 

The second part of our continuing series 
looks at how specific gaming genres 
have evolved over the years and what 
lies ahead. 

88 Let's Do Lunch 

Taking people on 'jollies' and having an 
expense account may sound easy, but 
working as a PR executive is actually 
harder than it looks... 

RETRO GAMING 

136 A Job In Videogames 

Sometimes, playing at doing a job was 
harder than the actual job itself. 

138 Great Gaming Moment 

A rolling stone gathers more than its fair 
share of Rick Dangerous. 

140 Classic Machine 

Scourge of the SNES, birthplace of Sonic 
- say hello to the MegaDrive. 

1 49 Greatest Game Ever 

A retrospective look at a futuristic sport 
(if that's possible). 

156 This Month In... 1986 

The events, happenings and games from 
January 1986. 



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PREVIEWS 


Network Biohazard 


48 


Resident Evil Zero 


50 


Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance 


52 


Indiana Jones And The Emperor's Tomb 


54 


Primal 


56 


The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker 


60 


IGI 2: Covert Strike 


64 


Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic 


66 


Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance 


68 


Galleon: Islands Of Mystery 


70 


SOS -The Final Escape 


72 


Super Monkey Ball Jr 


74 


Starsky And Hutch 


76 


Steel Battalion 


78 


Lamborghini 


80 


Tomb Raider: The Angel Of Darkness 


82 


Showcase 


84 


REVIEWS 


Metroid Prime 


96 


House Of The Dead 3 


100 


The Getaway 


102 


Sim City 4 


104 


Dead To Rights 


106 


Metroid Fusion 


108 


Mario Party 4 


110 


Bubble Bobble: Old And New 


111 


Shinobi 


112 


Phantasy Star Online: Episode I & II 


114 


The Sims 


116 


Auto Modellista 


118 


Battle Engine Aquila 


119 


Ikaruga 


120 


Ape Escape 2 


122 


ToeJam & Earl III: Mission To Earth 


123 


Zelda: Link To The Past/ Four Swords 


124 


Sly Cooper And The Thievius Raccoonus 


126 


Star Wars: Bounty Hunter 


127 




Super 
Monkey Ball Jr 

Can the delights of a monkey in a ball 
really work on the Game Boy Advance? 

102 The Getaway 

Sony's much-hyped East End thriller 
finally get the release that it deserves... 

ESSENTIALS 

160 Directory 

If there's a game you've got to own for 
your console, you'll find it listed here. 

174 Contact 

We asked and oh boy, did we receive. 
You lot have certainly had a lot to say 
for yourselves since last issue... 

170 Subscription 

If traipsing down to the shops every 
month isn't your cup of tea, why not 
have the magazine delivered straight to 
your doorstep, eh? 

172 Next Month 

Want to know what you'll see in 
games™ next time? 



006 games™ 



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50 RESIDENT EVIL 

The saga continues - or rather, starts over from the 
beginning. Capcom's seminal zombie-packed series 
shows us why we should be scared of the dark. . . 





NEWS I INDUSTRY GOSSIP I OPINION 



CONTENTS 

FIND OUT WHERE TO GET ALL THE 
ESSENTIAL STORIES WITH OUR 
QUICK GUIDE TO THE NEWS 



08CAPCOM 

The mighty developer 
could give Nintendo a 
shot in the arm with five 
exciting new titles. 



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1 




T 

Unsurprisingly, Biohazard 4\s shaping up to be the 




best-looking instalment in the series. 





10 THE 'HOG 
RIDES AGAIN 

Despite having a tough time 
of it lately, SEGA is set to 
bounce back with authority. 

20 THE PLAYERS: 
ED BOON 

Midway's Ed Boon is one of 
the men responsible for the 
Mortal Kom bat series. Did he 
rip our arms off when we 
spoke to him? Find out... 

22 BROADBAND 
OF BROTHERS 

In a world of 'next big 
things', broadband is the 
latest starlet. Find out what it 
is and what it can do for you 
in our four-page report. 

26 REPORTS 

Get the lowdown on life in 
the West and the East with 
our correspondents in 
America and, for one issue 
only, South Korea. 

34 COMMUNITY: 
COLLECTIVE 

We catch up with the ex-pat 
trio behind The Collective, 
one of the hottest upcoming 
development houses in the 
the States. 



008 games™ 



NINTENDO LANDS 
SOME WEIGHTY 
ASSISTANCE AS 
CAPCOM UNVEILS A 
FISTFUL OF NEW 
GAMECUBE TITLES 



Ever wondered 
what happened to 
Leon at the end of 
Resident Evil 2? Ah, 
well now you know. 



▲ 



» SEGA REBORN? CAREERS SQUARE /ENIX MERGER 



' You'll have to get busy if you 



creepy-crawlies. 



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ions may be 
certainly look 
eck out that rain. 



ow many big announcements do 
you usually expect from an 
established firm at the same 
time? One, maybe two? That's why it came 
as a surprise when Capcom recently revealed 
five new GameCube titles at once - four 
never-before-seen titles and a brand new 
chapter in the world's best-loved zombie and 
virus collaboration, Biohazard4. 

Focusing on one of the series's most 
popular characters, Leon S. Kennedy of 
Resident Evil 2 fame, this sixth survival 
horror looks to continue the series's trend by 
leaning more towards the supernatural. 
Luckily, there'll be no rushing this out for 
Christmas - Biohazard 4 is currently sporting 
a 200X release date (no, really, 200X) so 
there'll be a fair gap between REO (and the 
RE2 and RE3 ports if they arrive over here) 
and this latest chapter. 

Gameplay details are sketchy to say the 
least; video footage is all that's been released 
so far but what we've seen would suggest a 
fully 3D engine. If this is the case, we're 
stunned - models, animations and locations 
look wonderful. . . even if they are rendered, 
they're still a joy to behold. We anxiously 
await the first in-game shots and footage - 
as pretty as pre-rendered backdrops may be, 
the series has evolved almost as far as it can 
within the limitations of a fixed camera. 

So while we pick our jaws off the ground, 
cast your eyes over this and the other four 
announcements. With the exception of 
Biohazard 4, you could be enjoying these 
games later this year. You'll be done with 
Zelda by then, right? 




ViewtifulJoe-anew 
breed of superhero 




Tonight Matthew, I will 
be. . . Kendo Nagasaki 




Panzer Dragoon-esque 
action in Dead Phoenix 




Vanessa Z. Schneider gets 
busy with her laser cannon 



THE BEST OF THE REST - 
THOSE NEW CAPCOM 
GAMECUBE TITLES IN FULL 



2.VIEWTIFULJOE 

The games/art divide suffers another blow as 
Capcom introduces us to its new superhero, 
Viewtiful Joe. Stylish side-scrolling action is Joe's 
speciality - fighting crime with a blend of special 
effects and tough justice, he must battle through 
distinctly two-dimensional environments to save 
(you guessed it) a kidnapped lady. Interestingly, 
you'll be blessed with powers beyond Joe's mere 
strength - cinematic effects such as slow motion 
and zoom can be employed to make the action not 
only more impressive but also more effective. 
According to director Hideki Kamiya: "you must 
fight beautifully". We're none the wiser either but 
we still can't wait to get our hands on Joe some 
time in 2003. 

3. KILLER 7 

d Capcom's other arty title, Killer 7, is perhaps also 
the one most shrouded in mystery. The minimalist 
style may be striking but it reveals little of the 
story or gameplay. Delving deeper we discovered 
the storyline centres around Harman Smith, an 
assassin with seven personalities (hence the 
name). The game spans five separate stories 
around four linked 'worlds' and you'll be able to 
use every aspect of the twisted lead to your 
advantage. The seven personas will all play 
differently so we can expect a blend of action and 
puzzle-solving reliant on character choice and 
possibly switching. The Resident Evil series may be 
good grounds for comparison in this respect. 

4. DEAD PHOENIX 

For all the imagination and variety in Capcom's 
new announcements, we can gladly say that they 
haven't forgotten that image isn't everything. Dead 
Phoenix is setting itself up to be a similar 
experience to Panzer Dragoon; flying a mythical 
creature and blasting away at enemies may not be 
the most original concept, but coming from 
Capcom we can expect a twist or two somewhere 
along the line. The floating city environment is 
looking nothing short of stunning as Phoenix darts 
in and out of pillars and archways - there's 
certainly no let-up in the action. Pencilled in for a 
summer release in Japan, look out for more on 
Dead Phoenix in the not-so-distant future. 

5. P.N. 03 

□ Standing for Product Number, the last of the big 
five has more in common with Devil May Cry and 
its ilk than anything else. Heroine Vanessa Z. 
Schneider leaps, spins and cartwheels about the 
screen, all the while toting a somewhat 
overpowered laser cannon. Acrobatic blasting is 
the focus here as Vanessa sets out to avenge her 
parents' death by laying waste to robots galore. 
Hackneyed, we know, but it doesn't make the 
action look any less gorgeous. Everything is very 
clean and clinical and although there's a good deal 
of white around, we've still seen some beautiful 
variety in enemies and locations. All of a sudden, 
Dante's Ebony and Ivory pistols look like crummy 
little peashooters... 



games™ 009 



s. 



NEWS I THE HEDGEHOG REBORN I TRICKS OF THE TRADE 




stream 

BITE-SIZED STORIES FROM AROUND THE 
WORLD OF GAMING 



WHOLE LOTTA 
LOSSES GOIIM' ON 

Despite selling like the hottest of 
cake-related products over 
Christmas, the Xbox is still 
causing Microsoft to lose money 
at an alarming rate. A recent 
report filed with the Securities 
and Exchange Commission in 
the US claims that the 
company's Home And 
Entertainments division lost $177 
million (roughly £112 million) 
during the quarter ending 30 
September 2002. Of course, that 
probably won't affect Microsoft 
seeing as it's sitting on a pile 
of expansion cash and profit 
worth over $30 billion. . . 





SHRINK TO FIT 

Having already brought Sonic 
The Hedgehog, Chu Chu 
Rocket! and a whole bunch of 
classic MegaDrive titles to the 
GBA in the past, it looks like 
SEGA now has a taste for 
creating games for Nintendo's 
handheld. However, what 
we've seen before has only 
been a sample of what's 
to come - next on the 
'console-to-handheld' 
agenda are Dreamcast classics 
Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio. 
What's more, they're both going 
to be in glorious 3D rather than 
basic 2D affairs. Look for some 
previews next issue. 



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THE HEDGEHOG 

SEGA BEGINS THE LONG ^% ^ ^> ^% ^% |\ I 
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The house that 

Sonic built doesn't 

looktobecnimbling 

any time soon... 



s been a tough couple of years 
)r SEGA. The failure of the 
Dreamcast, the downsizing of the 
company and the virtual withdrawal 
from Europe as a stand-alone entity 
were all massive blows to the 
development giant. More recently, 
news that the firm had 
"underestimated the brand power of 
Electronic Arts" (SEGA President 
Hideki Sato's own words) and had its 
own sports titles soundly thrashed in 
the US market by EA's 'same game, 
different date' approach didn't help 
SEGA's share value either. Add to 
that the fact that SEGA Japan's 
own COO, Satoshi Kayama, 
acknowledged that the 
company's key franchises 



"cannot reside on just one platform, 
because the market is too 
fragmented" and you get the 
impression that the house of Sonic is 
having a very hard time of it indeed. 

Of course, what you see isn't 
always what you get and while 
SEGA has certainly had a rough ride, 
things are starting to look up. Thanks 
to a number of new deals and 
announcements over the last month, 
SEGA is set to reposition itself not 
just as a partner to development 
companies the world over, but also 
as one of major players in the third- 
party software market. 

Having created the first proper 
online console in the Dreamcast, it's 
no shock to learn that one of SEGA's 







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"WE WILL HELP BRING HIGHER QUALITY 

GAMES TO CONSUMERS FASTER, MORE 

EFFICIENTLY AND AT A LOWER COST." 



RYOICHI SHIRATSUCHI, CEO, SEGA.COM 



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most recent deals concerns online 
gaming - although you might not 
have guessed that the two 
companies involved would be 
Nintendo and Sony. In an effort to 
make developers' lives easier when 
creating online games for the PS2 
and GameCube, Sega.com has 
offered itself as a resource to 
programmers looking to do just that; 
the SEGA Network Application 
Package (SNAP) provides everything 
they need to create effective 
network gaming experiences. 

Ryoichi Shiratsuchi, CEO of 
Sega.com, is particularly proud of 
the new deal: "From building the 
first high-speed online console 
gaming network to offering 
Nintendo GameCube and 
PlayStation2 developers a solution 
for implementing a network gaming 
environment with SNAP, Sega.com 
is truly committed to the future of 
the videogame industry - online 
gaming," he said, proving that 
SEGA's dedication to online games 
isn't just a short-lived phase. 

It isn't just the future that SEGA is 
looking at though. In a move that 
will have MegaDrive fans in raptures, 
it has joined forces with Japanese 
publisher D3 to form 3D Ages - a 



partnership dedicated to bringing 
some of SEGA's finest old-school 
titles to the PS2. Although most of 
the titles will be straight ports of the 
originals (released in batches of four 
throughout 2003 and featuring 
classics like Streets Of Rage, Virtua 
Racing and Bonanza Brothers), 
sources indicate that four of the 
games - Golden Axe, Space Harrier, 
Fantasy Zone and Phantasy Star- 
will actually be pseudo-sequels with 
all-new graphics and levels. As the 
retro scene is currently booming, this 
is certainly good news for PS2 
owners the world over. 

The biggest (and most surprising) 
announcement of all though has to 
be the rebirth of SEGA Europe as a 
stand-alone publisher. Having 
resorted to releasing games through 
firms such as Infogrames over recent 
months, the European branch of 
SEGA is now on the brink of re- 
establishing itself across Europe with 
a slew of titles such as Super 
Monkey Ball, Shinobi, House Of The 
Dead 3 and Sonic Advance 2 being 
prepared for release in the first half of 
this year . Could this be the break 
that SEGA needs to put itself back on 
top of the development world where 
it belongs? Let's hope so. 




On top of all the retro 
games that SEGA 
has pledged to 
resurrect for next-gen 
consoles, there are 
also some re-releases 
of more recent titles 
and even a pair of 
new games on the 
cards for both the 
PlayStation2 and 
Xbox. Top of the list 
are Initial D Special 
Stage (a high-speed 
racing game from 
SEGA Rosso) and 
Virtua Fighter 4: 
Evolution for 
PlayStation2, 
followed by re- 

| releases of several 
Dreamcast titles for 

i the Xbox: lllbleed, 
Rent-A-Hero No. 1, 

i Dynamite Cop 2 and 
Blue Stinger. All the 
games are due in 
early 2003. 




Just think, you could get 

paid for testing games, 

inventing new characters 

or writing captions like this 

all day. Easy money, eh? 



TRICKS OF 
THE TRADE 

A CAREER IN GAMES IS JUST A 
HELPING HAND AWAY... 

Ever wanted to actually make or promote 
games, rather than just play them? Then 
join the ever-lengthening queue - the number 
of people wanting to break into games is 
growing bigger every day. Of course, working 
with games isn't just a case of getting to play 
them all day; for instance, programmers write 
code, games testers have to work hard to find 
bugs and even getting to review games isn't 
exactly the non-stop rollercoaster ride of 
gaming that you might expect - you actually 
have to do proper work as well. Pah. 

But if all that doesn't put you off and you're 
still keen to make a mark on the games 
industry, then CodeMasters are offering 
something that could prove invaluable - a 
series of free career guides available online for 
those seeking advice on the background, 
education and skills needed to get a job in the 
business. Initially aimed at people still in school 
or college, the guides offer advice on courses 
and other useful pointers about gaining the 
knowledge to get the job done. 

"We have a great record of taking graduates 
and making them an essential part of game 
development teams," said Stephen Harrison- 
Mirfield, Group Human Resources Manager at 
CodeMasters. "Hopefully, the guides will help 
more people to get the best grounding in 
education and inspire them to further develop 
their interest in particular fields." 

There are more details at: 

www.codemasters.com/jobs/careers 




games™ Oil 



NEWS I TWO BECOME ONE I XBOX TOCA 



ft- 




BITE-SIZED STORIES FROM AROUND THE 
WORLD OF GAMING 



KOJIMA GEARS 
UP AGAIN 

Just recently, a number of 
rumours have sprung up 
regarding Hideo Kojima's next 
instalments in the Metal Gear 
Solid series. Apparently, not 
one but two new MGS games 
are in production; one being a 
straight follow-up to MGS2 
(and no doubt featuring many 
of the new ideas seen in 
Splinter Cell), and the other 
being an online game. As you'd 
expect, details are virtually non- 
existent at the moment, 
though it seems highly 
possible that one or both 
games will be officially unveiled 
at E3 in May. 






IT'S ONLY A 
GAME SHOW 

If there's one thing we don't get 
enough of here in the UK, it's 
consumer game shows - even 
though back in the day, you 
couldn't move for the general 
gaming public milling around in 
large venues. Never fear 
though, if you're looking to 
hang out with a couple of 
thousand people and play 
games, the XSGameshow is 
coming to the Birmingham 
NEC. This dedicated consumer 
event will be taking place from 
25 to 27 July, so we advise 
getting in there early. Check out 
www.xsgameshow.co.uk for 
more details. 



Now that Square and Enix 
have come together, can we 
expect Final Dragon Fantasy 
Quest? Er, no. 




TWO BECOME ONE 

FINAL DRAGON FANTASY QUEST BECOMES A 
POSSIBILITY AS SQUARE AND ENIX MERGE 



In what must be one of the greatest 
announcements in modern RPG 
gaming, Square and Enix, two of the 
biggest names in the field, recently 
revealed that they will be merging to 
form Square Enix. The deal, said to be 
worth nearly £500 million by pre-sale 
shares, will undoubtedly be beneficial 
to both parties and may even 
result in a few more Enix 
franchises reaching these 
shores; short of a few Game 
Boy titles, they've been all 
but nonexistent on the European 
console scene. Enix's Dragon 
Quest series continually outsells the 
Final Fantasy games in the East - 
we just hope this merger gives 
Square Enix the power (and of 
course the will) to bring the 
acclaimed franchise to our humble 
shores. 

After the financial disaster that was 
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Square 
has been struggling to cover its losses 
ever since. Enix, on the other hand, has 
never announced losses in its twelve year 
history so there should be no money 
woes as far as Square Enix is concerned. 




What remains to be seen is how this 
alliance will affect the various partners 
of the two companies, although Sony's 
hand in Square's affairs will apparently 
remain unaffected by this merger. 
Bizarrely, despite the fact that Enix 
will be the remaining entity on the 
stock market (in fact, its shares 
soared to their limit the day after 
the announcement), Square bigwig 
Yoichi Wada will apparently head up 
the new superpower. 

Outside of existing projects, little 
has been said with regard to future 
titles; a strong rumour at the time of 
going to press is that Square Enix's 
first game will be a new title in the 
Parasite Eve series. This sounds 
viable enough, but we'll wait for 
concrete proof before we get too 
excited by the return of Aya Brea 
and those pesky Mitochondria. The 
merger will apparently become 
fully active as of April, but until then 
we're just going to wait and see what 
becomes of Square and Enix's existing 
titles before demanding any new 
announcements. Final Fantasy X-2 
and Dragon Quest W//will do 







JEWS I CONSOLE EXCLUSIVITY I CRAWFISH GO UNDER 



OUT OF THE RED 

SQUARE REJOICE AS FINAL FANTASY 
XI BECOMES PROFITABLE 

Just before Christmas, Square president Yoichi Wada 
announced that online RPG Final Fantasy XI 'was set to 
surpass the 200,000 user mark, putting an end to its money-losing 
run. This has fulfilled Square's prediction that the game would 
become profitable before 2003. In fact, it would have been sooner 
had there not been server problems after an influx of users during 
the free trial period. On its release, X/was branded a failure by 
many, but sales comparisons to offline titles in the Final Fantasy 
series are a little unfair. Unfortunately, this landmark title for the 
series has yet to make it out of Japan, but this news may well be 
the sign Square has been waiting for before unleashing its epic 
online title on the rest of the world. 

So what are the chances of seeing Final Fantasy XI over here? 
As yet, there has been no news either way, but as it's now a 
commercial success in the East, and Sony need some strong 
online titles to go up against Xbox Live, we're quietly confident 
that we'll see it eventually. Translation to English is almost a 
certainty- a US version is bound to happen even if a European 
release is not. Japanese analyst Takeshi Tajima pointed out that 
"games with strong brand names will benefit from going online" 
but where does that leave other online ventures? With Unreal and 
Final Fantasy we can expect a lot of big names going online over 
the next few years, but Europe will probably only get titles that 
perform exceptionally well in their home territories. After all, it's a 
brave online developer who goes up against Final Fantasy XI. 






rl**h#i 



Final Fantasy XI 'has proved that 
gamers can play with one another, 
rather than being lonely. 



iwm 



GAMES FILLED WITH 
MONKEY LOUING GOODNESS 



E 







No.5 DONKEY KONG 



Although technically he's a gorilla MONKEY COUNT: 1 



CODEMASTERS CONFIRMS AN 
XBOX PORT OF ITS PS2 HIT 



TOCA RACES 
i ONTO XBOX 





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No.4 SAMBA DEAMIG0 



Dancing monkeys a-go-go 



MONKEY COUNT: 1 



-— m 






No.3 SUPER MONKEY BALL 



Monkeys in balls. . . joy 



MONKEY COUNT: 4 1 



fir A 



t's been rumoured since the launch of the 
PlayStation2 game last year, but now Codemasters 
has confirmed that TOCA Race Driver is being ported 
to Xbox. The Xbox version is due in March and, 
although it had been suggested that Xbox Live support 
would be included, current details don't mention this. 
There is still time for the feature to be added - most of 
the other games launching in March are using the 
service, after all. Even if the game isn't online though, a 
number of other Xbox-exclusive features have been 
disclosed, including qualifying rounds before 
championship races, six extra cars per race, better Al, 
improved graphics and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround 
sound support. 

For anyone who managed to miss the PS2 version, 
this TOCA game changes the regular racing formula by 
basing progression around a single driver named Ryan 
McKane. As you make your way through the game, 
each event is broken up by real-time cinematic 
sequences relating to your performance in the previous 
race, adding more character than we've come to expect 
from realistic racing games. 

And if it's realism you want, TOCA is the game for 
you. Despite the sensationalised cut-scenes, the in- 
game action is true to life, featuring 38 international 
circuits, 42 touring and sports cars and 13 full world 
championships. The true-to-life car dynamics and crash 
physics have been tested by professional race drivers to 
guarantee maximum authenticity and this is backed-up 
by visible real-time damage and destructible body parts. 

Watch out for more details of this enhanced version 
of the game very soon. 




games™ 013 



NEWS CONSOLE EXCLUSIVITY CRAWFISH SINKS 



ft- 




BITE-SIZED STORIES FROM AROUND THE 
WORLD OF GAMING 



GOTTA GET BACK 
IN TIME 

Yes, we were annoyed when 
Nintendo announced it was 
giving away discs to Japanese 
gamers who pre-ordered the 
new GameCube Zelda game - 
especially as it had GC ports of 
Ocarina Of Time and Ura-Zelda 
on it. But now we're a little 
happier. Why? Because the disc 
has been confirmed for the US 
as well. The only question 
remaining is whether you'll 
have to pay for it; as Ura-Zelda 
was never released (and so 
never translated into English), 
it'll cost Nintendo a fair bit. Still, 
at least it's coming, eh? 




MAP-READING 
MONKEYS 

TimeSplhters 2 - easily one of 
the best console FPS games 
out there today and a damn 
good laugh to play with your 
mates. And now Eidos has 
created a new monkey-friendly 
MapMaker tutorial Web site 
that's got everything you'll 
need to come up with the best 
multiplayer maps ever. You can 
check it out at (deep breath 
now): www.eidosinteractive.co 
m/gss/legacy/timesplitters2/m 
apmaker 




Thought you could only 'be' 
Sam Fisher on the Xbox? 
You've been had. . . sorry. 








\\ 






s 

ow 
Sha 


till, at least other console 
ners can now enjoy it too. 
re the wealth and all that 



1 



K&t 



Ubi Soft has already said 

the PS2 and GameCube 

versions will be 'cut down'. 



T 



A. 



EXCLUSIVE 
SCHMEXCLUSIVE 

PS2 AND XBOX 'EXCLUSIVE' GAMES SET TO JUMP SHIP 




THE WIT AND 
WISDOM OF 
RMOWtfNEUX 

„ E SAWAVS«OTSOMEn«GTOS»n" 



ith three massive consoles battling 
it out for the top spot in the market 
today, it's no shock to discover that the 
phrase 'platform exclusive' appears to be 
a rather dirty pair of words at the 
moment. Sure, Sony has the power to swing 
its cheque book hard enough to secure titles 
like the Grand Theft Auto series and Capcom 
has a certain empathy for the GameCube as of 
late, but, for the most part, games that are 

billed as exclusives don't tend to 

stay that way for long. 

I Take two of the biggest 

games of Christmas 2002, for 

example - Splinter Cell on the 

Xbox and Lord Of The Rings: 



The Two Towers on PS2. Are you one of those 
gamers that bought either of these titles 
thinking that you had got one over on people 
who couldn't play them? Maybe you even 
bought a console specifically. Well, bully for 
you - except that Ubi Soft and EA have now 
done a u-turn on the whole exclusivity thing 
and announced cross-format versions of 
both games. As it stands now, Splinter Cell 
for GameCube and PS2 will be appearing in 
March, while Lord Of The Rings: The Two 
Towers on GameCube and Xbox hits the 
shelves sometime in the Spring - 
unsurprising, considering how popular both 
games were. Looks like it really is money that 
makes the world go round after all. . . 




Theway you play the game 
will decide whether man 

lives or dies-thafsthe high 
concept behind the game 



Translation: 
"Ws Populousm 
over again, but I'm 

hoping that 
nobody notices 





Lord Of The Rings and 
Splinter Cell aren't as 
exclusive as you thought 




/ 




J 


L^J 







» NEWS POKEMON GAMES AMNESTY 





Insert your own maritime 
pun about going under', 
'sinking'. . . that sort of thing. 







ANOTHER ONE 
BITES THE DUST 

TOP GBA DEVELOPER CRAWFISH GOES UNDER 



Despite claims that the games 
industry is more profitable now 
then it has ever been, another high- 
profile development house has closed 
its doors for good. Crawfish Interactive 
- best known for its work on GBA titles 
like Ecks Vs Sever, Speed ball 2: Brutal 
Deluxe and, most recently, Street 
Fighter Alpha 3 (which scored 8/10 in 
games™ issue 1) -was among one of 
the most respected British GBA 
developers around, which is why it 
was a bit of a blow to hear that the 
company went into voluntary 
liquidation late last year. At the time of 
the announcement, the company was 
working on numerous GBA titles 



including ports of the classic Amiga 
games Wings and Gods. 

Although no exact reasons were 
given following the liquidation, the 
recent slump in demand for Game Boy 
Advance titles combined with late 
payments for work from certain 
publishing companies apparently 
played a part in the closure. 

Certainly, the folding of such an 
influential firm is a tragedy in itself, but 
the fact that it's just one of several 
developers to close in the last six 
months could indicate an unsettling 
trend in the industry. Here's hoping the 
infection doesn't spread any further in 
the near future... 



INDIES LEFT FURIOUS AS STORES SELL THE 
GETAWAY A WEEK BEFORE SCHEDULE 

GETAWAY EARLY 



The launch of Sony's The Getaway 
in December provoked outrage 
from a number of companies, including 
Sony itself, as some retailers began 
selling the game as far as seven days 
ahead of schedule. The problem seems 
to have arisen from DVD and video 
rental shop Blockbuster, only to be 
followed by Woolworths and other 
non-specialist stores. Unsurprisingly, 
the move confused specialist retailers 
and their customers alike, who weren't 
entirely sure whether the release date 
had been brought forward. 

We spoke to independent game 
store owner Martin Bean, who 
commented: "I was really disappointed 
to discover that some stores had 



broken the street date - especially 
as The Getaway was one of the 
biggest Christmas releases. We 
end up looking like idiots when we 
tell people a game isn't released until 
a certain date, only for them to walk 
into Woolworths and find it on 
sale. People think we are 
rubbish and don't know 
what we are talking 
about, when really it's 
the other way round." 
Sony says that the 
offending stores won't receive 
future deliveries of PS2 games | 
until much nearer to the 
release date to ensure that the | 
problem won't happen again. 



GAMES 
ROOM 

ILOX 

THINGS WE 
HATE ABOUT 
VIDEOGAMES 



NO.2: THE 'INVISIBLE BOUNDARY' 
DILEMMA 



Even though the boundaries of videogames 
have been pushed back a long way in recent 
years, it's still fair to say that all games take 
place within a finite world. That's why there are 
only certain places you can go inside them - 
after all, games like Final Fantasy have to have 
external boundaries otherwise you'd be able (in 
theory) to carry on forever. Of course, there are 
many ways of dealing with presenting these 
boundaries and it's the lazy way that they're 
often handled that really gets our goats. 

We're firmly of the opinion that invisible walls 
suck- more so in some cases than in others. It's 
mostly adventure games that use it as a rule, but 
other genres are just as guilty. The question is, 
how much effort would it take to put in a proper 
wall (even with a limited amount of texturing) to 
tell you that you just can't go any further? Not 
much, we reckon. Of course, even when you do 
use actual walls to create a boundary, there are 
problems. Why, for example, does the Resident 
Evil series persist in allowing its characters to run 
on the spot against walls? Something as old as 
the original Tomb Raider made Lara stop and 
hold her hands up and that was on the PSone. 
So what's the deal with Resident Evil Zero, eh? 
Honestly, it wouldn't take much to change it... 




games™ 015 



NEWS I POKEMON I GAMES AMNESTY 



ft- 



BITE-SIZED STORIES FROM 
AROUND THE WORLD OF GAMING 



<& 



SONY MAY CRY 

It's looking more and more 
likely that Nintendo may be 
buying Resident Evil developer 
Capcom, and may actually 
have finalised the deal by the 
time you read this. The 
rumours started last 
September when Capcom 
predicted losses of ¥12.7 billion 
(£60 million) for the current 
financial year. Many expected 
Microsoft to jump in and take 
advantage, though the recent 
announcement of five new 
exclusive GameCube games 
(see pages 8 and 9) has shifted 
focus away from the American 
giant and onto Nintendo. 
Watch out for an update 
next issue. 




—|l 



GOTTA 

CATCH 'EM 

ALL OVER 

AGAIN... 



THE GREAT 
YELLOW HOPE 




UNLUCKY FOR 
SOME 

Anyone looking forward to 
playing the rather innovative 
eel-shaded first-person shoot- 
'em-up XIII will have to hang on 
just a little bit longer - the 
game has been delayed until 
the third quarter of 2003. 
"Quality is always our priority, 
so we have decided to take 
additional time to ensure that 
this game is as close to perfect 
as possible," said a Ubi Soft 
spokesperson. "The extra time 
will allow us to introduce new 
elements of gameplay and 
integrate specific features for 
each platform." Oh well... 



It's official - Pokemon isn't dead. Since their 
November releases, Pokemon Ruby and 
Sapphire have shifted over a million copies 
each. This makes them the best-selling Game 
Boy Advance titles to date and they're still 
unshakeable at the top of Japanese charts. It's 
easy to see why, too; we've put a good few 
hours into them and they're every bit the 
sequels we hoped they would be. Further to 
last issue's preview, several new discoveries 
have been made within the game. 

The good news is that the total number of 
monsters has risen from 351 to 386. The bad 
news is that so far, only 202 of these are 
catchable. Even with Action Replay codes, the 
new Pokedex won't register those beyond this 
point - an upgrade is thought to be required 




but has yet to be 
found within the 
game. Perhaps it 
exists outside the starting Houen area... 
Speaking of which, the heavily-rumoured new 
land masses have yet to be discovered - so 
we remain hopeful. Other rumours suggest 
the 184 missing Pokemon will be obtainable 
via some kind of E-card Reader or GameCube 
link-up, but the number of missing Pokemon 
would imply that this isn't the case. 

Non-importers will have to wait until late 
this year, as there's no set date for a PAL 
version, but it's out in the US on 17 March. 
We'll wait for an English language version 
before we cast judgment, so expect an import 
review sometime soon. 







If you've ever found yourself 
saddled with one of the 
lame Army Men games out 
there (remember, there 
have been one or two good 
ones. . . honest), now's the 
chance to do something 
about it Just pop it in a 
brown padded envelope 
and send it along to: 
Dismissed, Soldier 
games™ 

Paragon Publishing 
Paragon House 
St Peter's Road 



^M^^^ 




pM 


IH^H 










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l/laketheworlda 
er place. Send us 


n 






your bad games. 





Dorset BH12JS 
Trust us. . . we're 



on't believe the hype - that's what 
y once told us (very 
wisely, we might add) and yet we still do 
it, especially when it comes to 
videogames. Just because something 
looks pretty or someone in PR tells us 
something is good, doesn't mean it is - 
believe us, we've been doing this long 
enough to know. 

Having now had its fill of Turok 
Evolution though, the games™ trash 
compactor is open for business once 
more. This time, it thirsts for the blood 
of Army Men. God knows why 3DO 
persist in bringing out more games in 
this god-awful series (aside from the 
RTS ones, which are actually not bad), 
but they do... so it's time to make 
a statement. 



NEWS GAME BOY PLAYER REPLICA ATARI 



» NEWS I ED BOON I BROADBAND 



ft- 



BITE-SIZED STORIES FROM AROUND 
THE WORLD OF GAMING 



Rj 



BLAST FROM 
THE PAST 

The thought of enjoying your 
favourite old-school Atari 
games might sound good at 
first, but it's not as easy as it 
sounds: trawling eBay, hanging 
around car boot sales and 
digging up cartridges buried in 
the desert all take time and 
money. That's why the nice 
folks at DC Studios have come 
up with the Atari TV Game - a 
perfect replica of an Atari VCS 
2600 joystick with the bonus of 
having ten genuine Atari 
'classics' on it. It'll be out in 
February, if you're up for 
a spot of retro action. 





WOULD YOU 
LIKE CASHBACK? 

Nintendo might insist that the 
GameCube isn't going to see a 
price drop soon, but that hasn't 
stopped it making sneaky cuts 
in the US. Buying a GC over the 
counter gets you a voucher, 
which can be sent back to 
Nintendo for a princely rebate of 
$25. What's more, you can earn 
$5 off selected titles (including 
Mario Sunshine and Metroid 
Prime). Of course, this system 
means that Nintendo, not 
retailers, end up making a loss. 
Maybe they're trying to please 
all the people, all of the time. 



A GAME IN THE HAND... 



... IS WORTH TWO ON THE GAMECUBE, SAYS 
NINTENDO 






* 



018 games™ 




The GameCube and the Game Boy 
Advance - two consoles that, 
unsurprisingly considering they're made by 
the same company, were made to go hand- 
in-hand with one another. Still, while both 
consoles offer their own unique brand of 
games, the fact that they're so incestuous 
(and that the GBA's has a terribly 
dark screen) led many gamers to 
ask the same question: can I 
play my GBA games on 
my TV through my 
GameCube? 
Typically, the 
answer from 
Nintendo back then 
was an emphatic 
'No'. But now it's a 
big fat 'Yes'. Forget 
about using a 
complex 
system of link 
cables or 
having to 
hotwire your 
GBAtoanS-Videoblock 
though - thanks to the 
Game Boy Player, it's oh- 
so easy. The officially 
branded player, 
which slots into the 
GameCube via the high- 



speed port on the bottom, not only allows you 
to play any Game Boy Advance, Game Boy 
Color or original Game Boy game through 
your TV, but also lets you use the regular 
GameCube pad to control the action. Even 
better, you can plug in your GBA via the 
GBA/GC Transfer Cable and use that as a 
controller, or link several Game Boy Advances 
together via the GBA Link Cable and play 
multiplayer games at your leisure. 

The fact that this new add-on will push the 
number of games available for the GameCube 
from nearly 180 to well into the thousands is 
something that Nintendo are cheekily 
emphasizing as much as possible. In any case 
though, the announcement of the Game Boy 
Player can only be good news all round. 
Unless you're an optician who relies on 
gamers squinting at their GBAs and losing 
their eyesight for business, of course. 

STOP PRESS! 

Just hours before we went to press, Nintendo 
announced that the brand new Game Boy 
Advance SP will be released in the UK on 28 
March. This new, ultra-slim handheld boasts a 
backlit screen, a rechargable lithium battery 
with a life often or eighteen hours (depending 
on whether you have the light on or off) and a 
flip-top screen. Next issue, we'll be 
interviewing Nintendo's Shelly Friend to find 
out more... 



NEWS I THE PLAYERS I MIDWAY GAMES 





I 



\ 





DECAPITATIONS, EXPLODING 
TORSOS AND A WIDE t 
SELECTION OF INTERNAL 
ORGAN REMOVALS WITHOUT 
THE NEED FOR ANY 
SURGICAL APPARATUS - ALL 
PART OF THE JOB IF YOU 
WORK FOR MIDWAY'S 
CHICAGO OFFICE. ED BOON 
TELLS US WHY MORTAL 
KOMBATISMAKINGA 
COMEBACK, WITHOUT EVEN 
TRYING TO REMOVE OUR 
SPINES. AW, BLESS. 

020 games'" 










"OVER THE YEARS, THE PLAYERS' RESPONSE HAS 

BEEN VERY CLEAR AND THEY'VE BOUGHT ALMOST 

20 MILLION MORTAL KOMBAT GAMES - HOW MANY 

FIGHTING GAME FRANCHISES CAN SAY THAT?" 



ED BOON 



ED BOON 




MIDWAY GAMES 



B 



i y nature, Ed Boon isn't a violent man - in fact, he 
, wouldn't hurt a fly (or so his PR executive tells us). Of 
" course, given that he's one quarter of the team that 
came up with one of the goriest beat-'em-ups of the Nineties, 
Mortal Kombat, you'd expect him to be slightly unhinged - 
and maybe he is, having worked in the games industry for 
over 16 years. Sure, he's worked on plenty of projects from 
pinball machines (back in the days when Midway wasn't even 
called Midway) to games like High Impact Football and, er, 
High Impact Football 2, but he will always be known to most 
gamers as 'the bloke behind Mortal Kombat. 

While he won't be drawn on why John Tobias (once co- 
developer of the Mortal Kombat series and now the brain 
behind upcoming Xbox beat-'em-up Tao Feng) decided to fly 
the coop, Boon still has fond memories of how Mortal Kombat 
originally came to be. "In 1991, our company was into 
producing arcade machines and wanted a game to be 
completed quickly that could be on our production line by the 
summer of 1992," reminisces Boon. "So four of us started 
working on a fighting game that we initially wanted to be 
licensed using Jean Claude Van Damme. For one reason or 
another, our talks with his people fell through and we decided 
to come up with our own characters." The fact that Boon grins 
knowingly at this thought suggests that he's quite pleased this 
is the case and we have to agree. . . particularly as we've played 
Street Fighter: The Movie. Urgh. 

Beyond the initial idea though, even Boon himself was 
shocked at how quickly the game went from the drawing board 
to being a full-on arcade game. "Five months after the redesign, 
we were testing the game in a local arcade and the response we 
saw from players was incredible," he says. "Our management 
also saw the response, told us we could have a couple more 
months to add a female character [who turned out to be Sonya 
Blade] and we then introduced Mortal Kombatto the arcades in 
August of 1992." And the rest, as they say, is history. 

Unfortunately, some would say that it hasn't been much of a 
history - following Mortal Kombat and its far superior sequel, 
the games saw a drop in quality. It's probably because of this 
that the series became a bit of a joke among beat-'em-up fans. 
However, rolling with the punches is something the Mortal 
Kombatteam have become used to by now. "I'm not so much 



concerned about the critics as I am the players who actually 
buy the games," says Boon. "There have certainly been lower 
points in the Mortal Kombat series, but I wasn't involved with 
those products and can only speak for the ones I worked on. So 
far, we've gotten every indication that players are really 
enjoying Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance and that's the bottom 
line... at least, it is with me." 

It's a fair point - although we're sure there's a case for denial 
counselling in there somewhere. As you'd expect though, 
looking at the success or failure of past efforts isn't as important 
to Boon as believing in the here and now- as you read this, 
MK: DA is selling like hot entrails across the US. This, it seems, 
is the turning point for the Mortal Kombat series and a chance 
for the team to regain the ideals that the original game set out 
to define. However, that doesn't mean a heavy reliance on the 
features that made Mortal Kombat so big in the first place; after 
all, just packing the game with a stack of bizarre finishing 
moves is sooo Mortal Kombat 3. "From the beginning, we 
decided that we wanted to concentrate our efforts on the 
gameplay features of this game," insists Boon. "While fatalities 
are always very cool, we didn't want them to be the main focus 
of Deadly Alliance- after you see a fatality a few times, the 
shock value begins to diminish but if there is something new 
and fun with the fighting engine it brings more of a lasting 
appeal to the game. Since this is a Mortal Kombat game, of 
course we're going to have fatalities - we just didn't want that 
to be our only focus." 

It's clear that Ed and his team have set out to clear the good 
name of Mortal Kombat and create a fighting game that'll 
stand up with the best of them. There's no doubt they've done 
a good job but there's one thing that still bothers us - why the 
excessive use of the letter K? "We'd already come up with the 
name Mortal Combatbut since that's a common phrase, we 
wanted to do something to spice it up," explains Boon. "We 
ended up changing the C to a K, but didn't realize how far we 
would be taking that whole spelling thing. Now it's just kind of 
funny." Indeed. Although we doubt our English teachers 
would agree. 



Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is out on 14 Feb on every major 
format and previewed on page 52. 



games™ 021 



T 




M 



iS 



NEWS BROADBAND OF BROTHERS FEATURE 



THEY SAY IT'S THE 
NEXT BIG THING - 
BROADBAND, THAT 
IS. BUT THEN THEY 
SAID EXACTLY THE 
SAME THING 
ABOUT VIRTUAL 
REALITY TOO 
OF COURSE, IN 
AMERICA 
BROADBAND 
INTERNET 

CONNECTIONS AND 
ONLINE GAMING 
ARE ALREADY 
COMMONPLACE, 
AND ALL THE 
SIGNS SUGGEST 
THAT A SIMILAR 
SURGE IN 
POPULARITY IS 
ALREADY STARTING 
TO HAPPEN 
ACROSS EUROPE. 



BROADBAND 

OF BROTHERS 




games™ investigates why Broadband 
will be the next big thing, and which 
hardware is best suited to this exciting 
new form of high-speed communication. 

WHAT IS BROADBAND? 

On a very basic level, Broadband is an 
extremely efficient method of 
transferring huge amounts of data 
from one computer to another, be it 
for downloading music or video files, 
viewing web pages or playing 
online games. 

The term 'Broadband' actually 
means a transmitter that works on a 
broad spectrum, though the name has 
been carried across to the high-speed 

022 games™ 



cable and telephone line alternatives 
that are available today. 

But while true broadband is 
almost impossible to get hold of, the 
alternatives available to the masses 
certainly offer a huge increase in 
speed over a regular 56Kbps 
modem. In fact, the fastest dial-up 
currently available is over 16 times 
faster than a standard 56Kbps link, 
though the costs involved with such 
a connection may discourage 
potential users from committing to 
the service for the time being. With a 
connection transferring data at this 
pace, an MP3 file that would 
normally take around 15 minutes to 




download 
will be 
completed in 
less than 60 
seconds. At present 
though, you're looking at 
£35 a month but it's likely that 
prices will come down over the 
next year as the service becomes 
more widely accepted. 

WHAT DO I NEED TO 
GET CONNECTED? 

To get broadband in your home, you 
need either cable or a telephone line 
that has been upgraded to ADSL 
(Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line). 



If you're not sure 
whether your local BT 
exchange has made the necessary 
upgrades, you can check at 
www.btopenworld.co.uk by 
entering your postcode. If you're 
using a PC you'll also need a 
network card or USB port, though 
connecting a console to broadband 
is a little different. 




T- 



» NEWS BROADBAND OF BROTHERS STATISTICS 



PC 



■ A broadband 
connection on a PC can 
open up a world of high- 

d entertainment 



Although Broadband has only recently 

started to become widespread in the 

UK, it has been available for several 

months to those willing to spend in 

excess of £50 a month for the 

privilege. This lurking presence has 

given Webmasters ample time to adjust 

the content of their sites in preparation and we're already 

seeing sites that feature much more memory-intensive imagery 

and sound content, including higher-resolution photography 

and screenshots, as well as a greater number of downloadable 

music and video files. 

Of course, even basic Web pages benefit from the extra 
download speed. While a regular 56K modem will open and 
display a page within a few seconds, a Broadband link will 
display it immediately. Anyone who regularly surfs the Net will 
appreciate the need for faster download speeds - much of the 
time spent browsing with a 56K modem is spent waiting for 
pages to download, rather than viewing their content. 

But it's online gaming that benefits the most from this 
additional transfer speed. If you've ever competed against other 
gamers online, you'll be aware of the difference ping rates can 
make when you're involved in a graphically demanding game 
such as Unreal Tournament or Counter Strike. Basically, the 
slower your connection, the higher the ping rate and the more 
delay there is between the time that other players perform an 
action and the time that it's displayed on your screen. Clearly, 
this puts players with a slower connection speed at a huge 
disadvantage. For Broadband users, ping rates have been 
reduced to such an extent that they're almost non-existent. 
While a 56K modem would usually result in ping times of 300 
and upwards, an average Broadband connection cuts ping 
times down to less than 50. There is still a slight lag, but this is 

hardly more noticeable than linking two PCs together directly. 
Of course, PC gaming has started to decline a little lately 
and you'll need to constantly upgrade if you wish to play 
the few quality games that do get released. However, the 
fact that you can use a PC Broadband link to view web 
pages as well as to download music and video makes 
the format more versatile than any online console. 




REGULAR 56K 
MODEM WILL 
OPEN AND 
DISPLAY A 
WEB PAGE IN 
A FEW 
SECONDS, A 
BROADBAND 
LINK WILL 
DISPLAY IT 
IMMEDIATELY" 




— _ Zl 


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— M 


^^ 


I 


L1 V€l 

! I 

J 


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i 






vt 


j W j t 



v*^ 



"MICROSOFT 

HAS SPENT 

THE LAST FIVE 

YEARS 

PREPARING 

SERVERS 

SPECIFICALLY 

OR USE WITH 

ITS ONLINE 

GAMING 

SERVICE" 



XBOX 



Out of the three console manufacturers, Microsoft is embracing 
the concept of Broadband gaming most readily. The company 
has spent the last five years preparing servers to handle a 
closed infrastructure specifically for use with its online gaming 
service, Xbox Live. On top of that, Xbox hardware has been 
built with Broadband gaming in mind. Not only does the 
machine include an 8GB hard drive, suitable for saving bonus 
data available to download from the Xbox Live servers, but it 
also benefits from a high-speed Ethernet port which, with a 
standard Ethernet cable, should link an Xbox to any Broadband 
modem. Unfortunately, some Broadband providers only cater 
for a USB (Universal Serial Bus) connection at the moment, 
though such problems should be rectified by the time Xbox 
Live launches on 14 March. 

A year's subscription to Xbox Live will cost £45 and the pack 
will be on the shelves at most stores stocking Xbox consoles. 
As well as the Xbox Live software DVD, the pack also includes 
two free games - motorbike simulation Moto GP Online and 
party game Whacked- as well as a headset comprising a 
mouthpiece and headphone. Known as the Communicator, the 
headset is an integral part of the Xbox Live service, replacing 
the keyboard as the main method of communication. 

Other clever innovations include a friends list, much like 
MSN Messenger, that gives you the opportunity to invite 
players you know to join you in an online game. Icons highlight 
which of your friends are currently available and you can simply 
send them a voicemail to see if they feel like challenging you. 

Of course, all these features would be pointless if Xbox Live 1 
wasn't receiving strong support from third-party software 
developers. Thankfully, more than 60 games are currently in the 
works that will use the service for downloading extra levels, 
characters and music, or for competing against other Xbox 
owners online. In fact, a number of titles are already available - 
the hugely successful Splinter Cell and Unreal Tournament 
being among them. 

During its first week on sale in America (where 
most households already have a Broadband 
i connection), Microsoft shifted a massive 150,000 
' Xbox Live Starter Kits. It will be interesting to see if 
Europe is so eager to embrace the service in March. 



XBOX GAMES ONLINE 

Microsoft has spent years preparing its Broadband infrastructure 
and securing exclusive online games for Xbox. Around 60 titles are 
due during 2003 alone and there are already a few PAL games that 
are compatible with the service, despite the fact that it doesn't 
launch here officially until March. 



TMfcAL A* 


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^W *-3 


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! ! 



and PC, Unreal Championship has translated 
really well. 



■ Xbox Live allows you to download extra 
levels and other goodies for games such as 
Splinter Cell. 



games™ 023 



ft 



NEWS BROADBAND OF BROTHERS 



PLAYSTATION2 

Not to be outdone by Microsoft, Sony has hurriedly secured a 

number of online games for PlayStation2, as well as preparing 

a fairly competent Broadband service. The problem is that the 

PS2 hardware doesn't come equipped with the necessary 

components to connect directly to a Broadband modem - you'll 

need to buy a PS2 network adapter for that. 

The adapter slots into the 

PS2's expansion 

port and houses 

all the required 

Broadband 

upgrades, as well 

as a regular 56K 

modem. The pack 

also comes with a 

software disc that lets 1 

you choose from a list of 

possible internet service 

providers. Just like Xbox Live, 

Sony's Broadband service will 

connect to the network via an 

Ethernet cable - a factor that may restrict which Broadband 

packages are compatible. 

At face value it would seem that Sony's service is 
comparable with Microsoft's, though there are a few drawbacks. 
For a start, the network adapter could cost as much as £50 in 
the UK. On top of that you'll also need a memory card to store 
your settings, adding another £20 to the overall price - and 
that's before you've taken the possibility of monthly charges 
into account. Another optional extra that will bump up the price 
is the communication headset, an integral part of online team 
combat game SOCOM: US Navy Seals. 

But by far the biggest drawback is the lack of a hard drive - the 
downloadable extras available on Sony's machine will be limited 
by the size of the storage medium (the 8MB memory card). The 
company does have plans for an external hard drive, though it 
hasn't yet committed to memory size, price or release date. 

Sony's online gaming service is certainly comprehensive, 
and many third-parties are including online content in their 
games. But there are many hidden costs and a lack of foresight 
means downloads will be limited by PS2's technology. 





ri 



"AT FACE 
VALUE FT 
WOULD SEEM 
THAT SONY'S 
SERVICE IS 
COMPARABLE 
WITH 

MICROSOFT'S, 
THOUGH 
THERE ARE A 
FEW HIDDEN 
DRAWBACKS 
THAT SOON 
BECOME 
APPARENT" 



GAMECUBE 

As you'd expect, Nintendo is being typically secretive with regard 
to its European online plans. However, the company has revealed 
that its only current online title, Phantasy Star Online: Episodes 
1&2, will be released in the UK during the first quarter of 2003, 
hinting that its own online service will coincide with the launches 
of Microsoft and Sony's plans. Like Sony, Nintendo intends to give 
its users the option of either a Broadband or 56K modem 
connection - the argument being that many households have yet 
to upgrade to Broadband. By not laying all its eggs in one basket, 
Nintendo is keeping its options open if Broadband fails to catch on. 
Of course, the amount of extra content available to GameCube 
owners online is restricted by hardware limitations, as with 
PlayStation2. Like PS2, the GameCube doesn't have a hard drive 
and will save any downloadable content on memory card. And 
while PS2 memory cards are restrictive enough with 8MB, the 
capacity of the GameCube Memory Card 59 is just 4MB. 
However, a number of alternatives are on the way, including the 
Memory Card 251 and Panasonic's SD-Memory Card, which can 
hold 64MB of data. Nintendo has also hinted that an external hard 
drive is a possibility, though it's unclear at this stage whether such 
a thing will be released. 

As far as games go though, Nintendo has a huge portfolio of 
titles that could potentially work very well online. SEGA's Phantasy 
Star Online launched in America and Japan last year, along with 
the Broadband and 56K modem adapters. Interestingly, both 
adapters sold in similar numbers, with sales figures suggesting 
that some Phantasy Star Online players bought 
one of each. 

But despite these positive results, 
Nintendo still won't reveal details 
about further online titles. 

Rumour has it that online 
versions of Mario Kart, 
Mario Party, Animal 
Crossing and Pokemon 
are all in production 
although nothing has yet 
been confirmed. Hopefully 
it won't be too long until 
Nintendo makes the 
news official. 




PS2 GAMES ONLINE 



GAMECUBE GAMES ONLINE 



While Sony's Broadband service isn't as comprehensive as 
Microsoft's, the company has used its grasp of the games industry to 
secure a few exclusive online titles, most notably Final Fantasy XI 
and Everquest However, it's John Madden NFL 2003 and SOCOM: US 
Navy Seals that are making the most noise in America. 



it. 








-1 5 





ilh- 



■ Sony's strong relationship with Squaresoft 
has resulted in Final Fantasy XI 'being exclusive 
to PlayStationZ 



SOCOM: US Navy Seals uses a 
headset much like the one packaged 
with Xbox Live. 



"AS FAR AS 

GAMES GO, 

NINTENDO 

HAS A HUGE 

PORTFOLIO OF 

TITLES THAT 

COULD 

POTENTIALLY 

WORK VERY 

WELL 

ONLINE" 



As Nintendo's online plans are moch vagoer than either Sony or 
Nintendo's, it's not surprising that there are fewer online games for 
GameCube. In fact. Phantasy Star Online: Episodes 1&2 is the only 
one. However, rumours are suggesting that some of Nintendo's top 
games will go online during 2003. 






■ Despite GC Phantasy Star Online being 
almost identical to the Dreamcast game, it has 
proved popular at retail. 



h**M*a# 



■ Rumour has it that an online version of 
Animal Crossing will launch on GameCube 
during 2003. 



024 games™ 



am 



TER FROM AMERICA I KONGETSU I WANADOO 



» BRITISH TELECOM I NTL I AMERICA ONLINE 



BROADBAND 
TERMINOLOGY 



USEFUL TERMS AND 
PHRASES YOU'RE LIKELY 
TO HEAR WHEN DEALING 
WITH BROADBAND 

D BROADBAND 
A high-speed method of data 
transfer. True Broadband works on 
a broad spectrum and although 
this isn't exactly the same as the 
Broadband packages offered by 
BT, NTL, AOL and others, the 
results are very similar. 

□ ADSL 

ADSL stands for Asymmetric 
Digital Subscriber Line. This is 
basically a standard phone line 
that has been upgraded to 
simultaneously handle both digital 
data (for high-speed connections 
such as Broadband) and analogue 
data (used for regular telephone 
connections). This set-up means 
you can still use the telephone, 
even when you're online. 

□ ADSL Filter 

When you use a telephone with 
ADSL, the digital information 
being transferred for online 
purposes gets picked up as 
distortion. An ADSL filter basically 
connects the telephone to the 
phone line and filters out all the 
digital information, resulting in 
distortion-free phone calls. 

□ ISP 

ISP stands for Internet Service 
Provider. This is the company that 
supplies the internet connection 
to your home. BT, NTL and AOL are 
all internet service providers. 

□ ETHERNET 
Ethernet is one method of 
transferring large amounts of data 
at high-speed. Each of the 
consoles use Ethernet to connect 
to Broadband modems. 

□ KBPS 

Kbps stands for Kilobytes per 
second - a measurement for the 
speed at which data transfers. 

□ MODEM 

A device that deals with online 
information being fed to a 
computer terminal. 

□ ROUTER 

A device that handles online 
information and feeds it to 
multiple computer terminals. 



[BRITISH TELECOM] 



ft 

. . - 




-- E 


~f£ 



Installation Costs: £85 (Home 500 

Plug & Go) or £250 (Home 500 

Engineer Assisted) 

Package Includes: ADSL modem and 

two ADSL filters 

Monthly Subscription: £29.99 

Download Speed: 500Kbps 

Upload Speed: 256Kbps 

Equipment Required: PC or Apple 

Macintosh with USB port 

PC Operating 

Systems Supported: Windows 98, 

Windows 2000, Windows ME, 

Windows XP 



Mac Operating Systems Supported: 

8.6 up to 9.2, 10.1 and 10.2 

Other Extras: 

Free virus/spam protected e-mail 
account for up to ten e-mail addresses 
Free 50Mb of web space to build your 
own website 

"BT IS COMMITTED TO J 

PROVIDING A BETTER BB ' 

SERVICE - GAMING AND BB| 

DEVELOPMENTS WILL GOt 

HAND IN HAND"! 



- 



NTL 



[NATIONAL TRANSCOMMUNICATIONS LTD] 








miHlffU 

Hfc 1 '"XJW ^-' 


J*i 











Installation Costs: £50 (existing NTL 

customers), £75 (new customers) 

Package Includes: Broadband modem 

Monthly Subscription: £14.99, £24.99 

or £34.99 (depending on chosen 

download speed) 

Download Speed: 128Kbps, 600Kbps or 

1000Kbps (1Mbps) 

Upload Speed: 64Kbps, 128Kbps or 

256Kbps (respective to the download 

speeds listed above) 

Equipment Required: PC or Apple 

Macintosh, plus a cable TV/phone 

connection to your home 



PC Operating Systems Supported: 

Windows 95, 98 or 2000, Windows ME, 

Windows XP 

Mac Operating Systems Supported: 

8.5, 8.51, 5.6 or 9 

Other Extras: 

Free e-mail account for up to 15 
e-mail addresses 
Free 55Mb of web space to build 
your own website 




"NTL BB IS FASTER, BETTER QUALITY AND CHEAPER THAN 

THE COMPETITORS. WE HAVE ALSO SIGNED A DEAL WITH 

MICROSOFT TO OFFER A BB GAMING CONNECTION AND ARE 

LOOKING FORWARD TO THE LAUNCH OF XBOX LIVE" 



AOL 



[AMERICA ONLINE] 



[ 






¥±n\ 


Aaot 


.r* 








m i . — 


i ■* 






| 




- 


- 










" 


—ITT 


■M^pvm 




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■+■ ^H*1- 


f^^^^ 


S^ 









Installation Costs: £85 (plus £10 

postage and packing) 

Package Includes: Broadband modem, 

two ADSL filters 

Monthly Subscription: £27.99 

(based on a 12 month contract) 

Download Speed: 512Kbps 

Upload Speed: 256Kbps 

Equipment Required: 233Mhz PC with 

at least 32MB system memory (RAM) 

and a free USB port 

PC Operating Systems Supported: 

Windows 98 second edition, Windows 

ME, Windows 2000 or Windows XP 



Other Extras: 

Seven free e-mail accounts 

Up to 140Mb of web space to build 

your own website 



"with rrs LONG 

ESTABLISHED RECORD AS 

THE WORLD'S NUMBER 

ONE ONLINE SERVICE 

PROVIDER, AOL OFFERS A 

COMPELLING 

BROADBAND PACKAGE" 



games'" 025 



NEWS LETTER FROM AMERICA REPORT 



mm LETTER FROM 
*K AMERICA 

LW WITH YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHO( 



NEIGHBOURHOOD EX-PATRIOT, THE SHAPE 




026 games™ 



F ■ 

m 


& - jj 


Mi A ' 




^^— 

- - 



Ui3 




'AMERICANS ARE SO EAGER TO CONSUME, FOREVER 
GREAT WHITE SHARKS, THAT IT'S SOMETIMES 



Atopic that cropped up a while ago on the games™ 
forum revolved around the question of videogames 
achieving mainstream acceptance on a par with major 
music and movie releases. As I sit here watching Steven Seagal's 
El True Hollywood Story (a two-hour biography in which he 
growls through endless chronologically disjointed interviews 
looking like a baked potato and wearing successively improbable 
tribal jackets), I wonder... could this be Hideo Kojima one day? 
Will the Housers share the reverence of the Coen brothers or 
perhaps the infamy of the Farrellys? More worryingly, if fame 
awaits our favourite programmers and producers, will 
mainstream sirens such as serial-wife Jennifer Lopez insist upon 
working their way through a couple of them each year? 

While it's unlikely I'll be reading the headline 'Kazunori's 
Terrible Secret: The Eating Disorder That Nearly Killed Him!' on 
the cover of Globe magazine any time soon, it's safe to say that 
videogames have burrowed further into contemporary 
American life than they have in Britain. It serves as an 
appropriate middle ground between Japan's admirable 
integration (voice actors doing Saturday morning TV interviews 
or rendered characters staring out from prime-location 
billboards in Tokyo) and Britain's stour segregation (seeing Peter 
Molyneux on ITV at two in the morning). Between Mr T 
advertising 1-800-COLLECT- 'I pity the fool that doesn't know it 
saves a buck or two!' - and Catherine Zeta Jones going on 



about mobile phones, you'll routinely catch spots for Metroid 
Prime, GTA: Vice City and Dead To Rights in one ad break on 
MTV in the morning. Right now, videogames are trickling in to 
fill the gaps of popular American culture. For example, it's not 
weird for big stars to talk about games. Professional 
unintelligible speaker Ja Rule recently spent half of his interview 
on the prestigious Daily Show explaining exactly how he likes to 
play Hitman 2, while Slipknot have said that when they're not 
eating roadkill or torturing naive groupies on the tourbus, 
they're playing Grand Theft Auto. 

I recently had occasion to visit the innermost chambers of the 
local police headquarters - crack pipes on one desk, a big binder 
labelled Terrorist Threat Information' on another. I was waiting to 
catch a glimpse of the SWAT team leader after hearing that - this 
is great -they call him Duke Nukem. Of course, it's pronounced 
Dook Nookum but all the same, a small shard of the videogame 
world has penetrated a no-nonsense sanctum as mature as the 
police force. When Squad Leader John Lujick arrives, I see why 
they named him after 3D Realms's tough-talking one-man army. 
After dropping an unholy amount of tactical gear into his car, he 
steps into the light where I can see him. Sure enough, he's huge; 
at least six feet four inches of bulky intimidation from gum- 
chewing noggin to combat boots. He sports close-cropped 
blonde hair and, beneath a camouflage overcoat, wears a 




» KONGETSU WANADOO THE COLLECTIVE 



MOVING FORWARD LIKE RAVENOUS 
FRIGHTENING FOR THE EX-PAT... 

velcroed mass of bulletproof shielding with a patch labelled 
'Extreme Armor'. A friend is showing him a new piece, a .50 cal 
Desert Eagle fresh from the store - so that's another $1095 
American dollars on its way to the Israelis then - and sure 
enough, Duke shows fanatical interest. "Kinda small though, 
ain't it?" says Duke, while I struggle to hold the gun at arm's 
length for a matter of seconds. When he leaves, I asked another 
cop what Lujick has at home. "He's got an arsenal," is the reply. 
Lujick's talents were probably required over the festive period. 
Americans are so eager to consume, forever moving forward like 
ravenous Great White sharks, that it's sometimes frightening for 
the ex-pat. The day after Thanksgiving - a big day for discount 
sales - so many crazed shoppers tried to stampede into my local 
Wal-Mart when it opened at 6am that the doors broke off. And 
scenes outside stores where you can buy something more 
exciting than a toaster were substantially less civil. They fight for 
things on the shelves. They park in the fire lane to get last-minute 
items. On the other hand, Liam Gallagher's gormless face isn't 
on TV and Chris of Chris's Gun Shop is talking me through the 
right way to fill out the firearms application for a legal alien like 
myself. . . so I think I'll stay a while longer. V, 



Until next time, don't 
have nightmares... 




GTAVice 

City is still riding high at the 

top of the US charts - for 

people in Miami it must be 

like Londoners playing The 

Getaway. Perhaps 



Mortal Kombat Deadly 

Alliance hasn't managed to 

knock GTAVC off the top 

spot yet Those superhuman 

fighters are no match for 

men in pastel suits. . . 

WANT ANY 
QUESTIONS 
ANSWERED BY THE 
SHAPE? THEN DROP 
HIM A LINE AT: 
theshape@comcast.net 
...HE MIGHT LISTEN, 
IF YOU'RE LUCKY. 



AMERIKAAIM 

PRODUCTS, PLACES, SERVICES 
AND EVENTS FROM THE LAND 
OF THE FREE 



DAIRY 
QUEEN 

Widespread 
franchise 

specialising in soft- 
serve ice cream. 
Gorge on their 
large Reese's 
Peanut Butter Cup 
Blizzard and you'll 
be feeling a happy 
kind of sick. 






Pnbm 



USA MULTIFORMAT TOP TEN 

Title Publisher Format 


1 


Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 


Take Two 


PS2 


2 


Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance 


Midway 


Multi 


3 


Metroid Prime 


Nintendo 


GC 


4 


Splinter Cell 


Ubi Soft 


Xbox 


5 


WWE Smackdown: 
Shut Your Mouth 


THQ 


PS2 


6 


James Bond 007: Nightfire 


EA 


Multi 


7 


Lord Of The Rings: 
The Two Towers 


EA 


PS2 


8 


Metroid Fusion 


Nintendo 


GBA 


9 


Madden NFL 2003 


EA 


Multi 


10 


Harry Potter And The 
Chamber Of Secrets 


EA 


Multi 




games™ 027 






NEWS KONGETSU REPORT 



REPORT 



1 r 







\l 






$ 






KONGETSU* 

WITH JAPANESE CORRESPONDENT TOMO OHNO 



Ever wondered about 
the phrase 'a can of 
worms'? Well, here it is. 
Hie contents are edible. 



'INSTEAD OF PLAYING GAMES AT HOME, KOREANS TEND TO GO TO 
INTERNET CAFES WITH THEIR FRIENDS AND PLAY TOGETHER" 




As a console game-development tool vendor, I usually get 
to travel once every two months to meet game 
developers and console makers. Last month for 
instance, I also got the chance to visit South Korea - a country 
with an interesting gaming culture and even more interesting 
food. For example, some of the restaurants I visited look more like 
aquariums - octopi and turtles wriggling in a fish tank, while the 
next one has various fish and squid swimming around inside. 
Octopus is to be eaten alive - you wind the tentacles around a 
stick and eat while it's moving. Sometimes, you can see tentacles 
sticking out of your mouth and wriggling to attack your nose... 

Anyway, Korea has a big online gaming market. More than 60 
per cent of households have ADSL access at home and there are 
more than 25,000 PC Bangs' (Internet cafes) - and this is a 
country with a population of only 48 million. But how can Internet 
cafes be so big when most of the houses have high-speed 
access? This is because of the unique gaming culture of the 
country - Koreans like to go out in groups, while the Japanese 
tend to do things alone. It is common for Japanese people to 
have dinner or drink alone, but that seems very rare in Korea. 

Instead of playing games at home, Koreans tend to go to 
Internet cafes with their friends and play together. They form a 
team to play against others on the network, then chat with 
friends in the cafe during the game. Afterwards, they go out for 
drinks (and some octopus, maybe), so the experience is set half 



in the virtual and half in the real world. Mahjong is also a group 
game - you visit a Mahjong shop with your friends and chat 
while playing. Unfortunately, the number of Mahjong shops is 
decreasing in Japan - possibly because this game requires four 
people and that's too big a group for Japanese people nowadays. 

For me, Mahjong was the very first interactive game that I 
learnt from my father and played with my family; we even used 
to bet the task of washing the dishes on it. My father never lost 
and I was the most frequent washer - I'm glad we didn't bet 
any money... 

Come to think of it though, it was great that all of my family 
sat down together and talked - Mahjong worked as a great 
catalyst in a family with two teenagers. Because playing the 
game itself was fun, I wasn't really bothered about results. I 
guess I can say it was a culture in my family, because it gave us 
moments and pleasure to share. It's a rather simple game (once 
you know how to play) but we enjoyed it for more than five 
years without getting bored until both my brother and I left 
home for college. Surprisingly, we still enjoy it now despite its 
simplicity. I can't say the same about any videogames I played in 
my youth though. Is it only me who does not have a single 
console game I can keep playing for more than ten years...? 



Kind regards 







«H 










WORK, REST AND PLAY 




Usually when I travel with an engineer from my company, the fact that I'm not a 
permanent resident means I can spot interesting things that the locals take for 
granted, especially within game development studios. Here are some of the things 
you won't see if you visit a developer in the UK: 

•SLEEPING TICKET 

Many Japanese game development studios have a 'napping room' in the building. 
However, one particular studio (no names mentioned) uses this facility to the 
extreme. If you work for this company, you aren't allowed to leave the office until 
you finish your assigned tasks of the day. If you literally can't work anymore, you 
have to use your allocated 'sleeping ticket' to catch a few hours of nap time. What 
happens when you use up all your day's ticket? I guess you have to buy one from 
your colleague... or learn to sleep with your eyes open. 

•SLIPPERS 

As a rule, programmers dress the same globally: t-shirt and jeans or chinos - very 
relaxed. One difference you'll find in Japanese studios though is the use of slippers. 
When we visited Tri-Ace (developer of Star Ocean), we found a shoe cupboard at the 
entrance. All staff - including the president - wore slippers inside. Of course, they 
also have 'guest slippers'. Maybe this is the secret key to Japanese games? Just be 
sure not to wear military boots if you ever visit them. 

• UNIFORM 

I said that developers all dress the same, but there is one exception - at Nintendo's 
beautiful headquarters in Kyoto, the men wear white zip-up overalls over a shirt and 
tie, while women wear blue uniforms. Because of these uniforms, and the massive 
reception all paved with white marble without any game-related materials, it feels 
and looks very clean and serious -when you enter, the receptionists in uniform 
stand up and bow. In fact, the only game-related material you can find is a paper 
miniature of a GameCube on the reception desk. (Incidentally, Sony's headquarters 
are in stark contrast with this - the reception area is filled with demos and marketing 
materials of the latest titles, while only the receptionist wears a uniform.) 



•TOILETS 



Nothing to do with games, but one gadget that attracted my engineer was an 
electric toilet seat. It comes not only with a heated seat and warm washer, but also 
with automatic flashing sensor and 'SoftClose' seat ("This unique seat is specifically 
designed to reduce injury and to eliminate annoying Toilet Seat Slam'..." - a direct 
quote from www.totousa.com). I assume that means there are large numbers of 
people who injure themselves on toilet seats every year. Note to Kim (my engineer): 
you can't bring it back to the UK, because the voltage is different. Plus you'd look 
suspicious coming back through customs with a toilet seat around your neck. 



WANADOO I THE COLLECTIVE I RELEASE LIST 

TEACH YOURSELF 
JAPANESE 



LESSON TWO: A BITE TO EAT 
Gohan o tabete! Let's 

Nihon ryori wa kaga desu ka? Hov 

Kono supu wa honto ni oishi-so desu. . . This 



Kore o zenbu taberu n' desu ka? 
O-naka o kowas. 



Let's have a meal! 

How about Japanese cuisine? 

This soup looks really 

delicious. . . 

Are you going to eat all of that? 

I have an upset stomach. 



Sumimasen ga, o-tearai wa Dochira desu ka? Excuse me, but which way is 

the toilet? 



JAPANESE MULTIFORMAT 
TOP TEN 

Title Publisher Format 

1 Tales Of Destiny 2 Namco PS2 

2 SD Gundam G Generation Neo Bandai PS2 



01: Some software houses 
have beds for tired workers. 

02 Slippers are a common 
sight in Japanese offices. 

03: Futuristic toilets can 
reduce 'seat slam'... 



3 PokemonRuby 



Nintendo 



GBA 



4 Pokemon Sapphire 



Nintendo 



GBA 




5 Lupin The Third: Magician King Banpresto PS2 

Dark Chronicle Sony PS2 

Mario Party 4 Nintendo GC 

8 Resident Evil Zero Capcom GC 



9 Kamen Raiden Ryuuki 



Bandai 



PSone 



10 Taiko NoTatsujin Namco 

(Dengeki Console Game Ranking Top 50, Week ending 01/12/02) 



PS2 



As I've mentioned 
before, there is quite a 
difference between 
Eastern and Western 
games. To find what 
makes Japanese games 
so special (other than 
slippers), I'm planning 
to interview Yu Suzuki 
and his team in the next 
month or so; if you have 
any questions for 
Suzuki-san, please send 
them to the games™ 
team so they can 
forward them onto me. 





Mr. < ih! Jll 





games™ 029 



NEWS I THE PLAYERS I WANADOO 



ww'il^vii f! 




Ill 






WHERE WOULD YOU LOOK TO FIND ONE OF THE MOST PR 
NEW PUBLISHING HOUSES IN GAMING? JAPAN? AMERICA PERHAPS? 
KEEPING THINGS A LITTLE CLOSER TO HOME, games™ HOPPED THE 
CHANNEL TO CATCH UP WITH EDOUARD LUSSAN, PUBLISHING 
DIRECTOR AT RELATIVE NEWCOMERS WANADOO. IF ITS GOOD 
ENOUGH FOR TECMO, ITS MORE THAN GOOD ENOUGH FOR US. . . 



it 






030 ga 



"THE VARIABLE LIFE CYCLES OF CONSOLES CAN 

CREATE BIG HOLES IN THE MARKET FOR US, SO 

WE NEED TO HAVE A STRONG PC LINE-UP IN 

CASE THERE IS ANY SUDDEN COLLAPSE IN THE 

CONSOLE MARKET." 

EDOUARD LUSSAN 



EDOUARD LUSSAN 



WAIMADOO 



It's a sad truth that developers and publishers 
outside of the US and Japan seldom get the 
attention and respect that they deserve. But 

European developers are on the up and France seems to be 
the place to be at the moment. Everyone is fully aware of the 
likes of Ubi Soft and Infogrames but the mention of 
newcomers Wanadoo would most likely be met with a few 
blank looks. Based in Malakoff, France, and little more than a 
year old, Wanadoo has already worked with some of the 
biggest names in the industry today, both in terms of 
developers and software titles - Tecmo, anyone? Speedball 
2, perhaps? High quality stuff... 

"We made a promise two years ago to be a new 
publishing force in the market," says Edouard Lussan, 
Publishing Director of one of France's hottest prospects. "As 
you know, two years in this industry is not long; it's only 
enough to make one or two games." Surrounded by exotic 
cuisine and first-rate entertainment at its 2003 line-up party, 
it's obvious that Wanadoo has every faith in its products for 
the next twelve months. We have no trouble seeing why, 
either; this year the fledgling publisher is due to release 
games from the developers responsible for Prisoner Of War, 
Delta Force and the Dead Or Alive series. The latter is 
potentially the most interesting - how does such a new 
publishing house acquire the rights to a title like Rygar? "It 
began with Project Zero" Lussan explains. "We were a new 
and motivated firm on the market offering a similar figure to 
our rivals and Tecmo decided to give us a shot. We did a 
pretty good job on Project Zero and when it came to Rygar, 
we were in competition with another firm offering more 
money than us. In the end, the CEO of Tecmo gave the 
license to Wanadoo regardless due to previous good 
experiences with us." It's plain to see why Tecmo was 
pleased with Wanadoo's work- having thoroughly enjoyed 
Project Zero (sinisterly named Fatal Frame outside Europe), 
we were glad to see it get the commercial success and 
critical acclaim it deserved. 

Every publisher needs to start somewhere and it soon 
becomes clear that Lussan has no illusions of grandeur, 
citing several early titles in the company's history as 
"average games". But we soon begin to notice his 



enthusiasm toward newer titles and the names Dark Age Of 
Camelot and Iron Storm crop up several times. Lussan 
seems generally pleased with the reception these titles have 
received but still wants more. "An average score of 75% [for 
Iron Storm] is pretty good, but not good enough," he 
remarks, obviously looking forward to the next wave of 
software. Moving away from the PC-based origins and into 
full multi-format territory is taking its time but the progress is 
steadily encompassing all available formats. When we 
brought up the Nintendo handheld, however, Lussan let out a 
sigh. "We have had some very bad experiences in the GBA 
market," he admits as he goes on to explain how Speedball 
2 was far from the success it was expected to be. "How can 
you make money from selling so few copies?" he asks. How 
indeed. 

So what's next for France's 'next big thing'? America is the 
first subject Lussan brings up. "For next year, we're trying to 
build strong relationships within the US market," he says 
hopefully. Iron Storm is currently one of the only Wanadoo 
titles to cross the Atlantic but the fact that it performed better 
in the US than in Europe is nothing if not promising. Even so, 
Lussan remains optimistic yet realistic. "It's unlikely that we'd 
have a worldwide hit with one of the first titles we release - 
we have to work on this," he says, before giving us his hot 
tip for 2003. "So long as we don't make any mistakes with 
Sniper Elite [a Hitman/Splinter Ce//-style title with a WW2 
setting], we could have our first global success." If what 
we've seen is anything to go by, he may not be far 
from the mark... 
Sniper Elite is due Winter 2003 across every major format. 



games™ 031 



NEWS I COMMUNITY I THE COLLECTIVE 



COMMUNITY 

EVERY ISSUE, games™ GOES BEHIND THE SCENES WITH A 
DIFFERENT DEVELOPER. THIS MONTH, WE'RE OFF TO THE 
STATES WHERE THE COLLECTIVE REVEALS A FEW SECRETS. 



t **H\ 



THE COLLECTIVE 



WE DISCOVER THE 

UPCOMING TALENT AT 

THE COMPANY 

RESPONSIBLE FOR 

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE 

SLAYER AND INDIANA 

JONES AND THE 

EMPEROR'S TOMB 

032 games?" 



I 



u 



alifornia is the Sunshine State, the home of 
Hollywood. So perhaps it's not surprising that 
the best-known games developed by The 
Collective have featured a selection of 
Tinseltown's biggest names. Buffy, Star Trek, Men In Black, 
Indiana Jones. . . it's a veritable Who's Who. The Collective was 
founded in 1997 by three videogame veterans; brothers 
Douglas and Richard Hare and ex-Virgin Interactive colleague 
Gary Priest. They set up the company after working together 
as leads on ToonStruck and, despite operating from the 
dream-like state of sunny California, the three men actually 
come from the UK- Doug and Richard from Musselburgh, 
Scotland, and Gary from Birmingham. So far, their main 
achievements have included Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on PC 
and Buffy The Vampire Slayer on Xbox and, with the likes of 
Wrath and Indiana Jones And The Emperor's Tomb due later 
in the year, it looks like The Collective will go from strength to 
strength. But it hasn't always been that way. "The hardest part 
was starting the company without much in the way of 
momentum," reveals Gary, when asked about the difficulties 
of starting from scratch. "A lot of development companies 
spring out of teams coming off a successful game and they 
usually have their first contract secured before they set up 
shop. We'd been around a while and thought we'd land a deal 




After a lengthy development period that saw production jumping from one format to 
was solid, fun and contained the full flavour and atmosphere of the popular TV show 

in a snap, but it was a lot harder than we thought." When 
The Collective finally did secure its first contracts, they were 
merely porting existing software from the PC to the PSone - 
this didn't give them much room for creative freedom. 
Thankfully, one thing led to another and the company soon 
secured the opportunity to create its first in-house title, Star 
Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Fallen, for the PC. 

Although their first big game was based on the Star Trek 
universe, this wasn't where the name The Collective' 
came from. "I was returning from San Diego after a day trip 
on the Amtrak," explains Gary, "and this was one of the 
names I thought that summed up our desire to create a 
development environment based upon teamwork and 
collective minds all working towards a common goal." And 
it's because of those collective minds' work on DS9 that the 
company secured its second contract. "Fox Interactive 
approached us to do Buffy The Vampire Slayer as a result of 
seeing some early work we'd done on DS9," says Doug 
Hare. Although the opportunity to work with such a lucrative 
licence was exciting, he admits that no-one had anticipated 
just how difficult it would be to bring Buffy to life. "The 
biggest lesson I took away was how hard it is to create a new 
engine and toolset, as well as trying to create a revolutionary 
game based upon that engine," he says. "New engine 
systems and gameplay features were flying into the 
codebase at a massive rate in order to support game 
production, and managing that whole process was a little 
hectic at times. Now the engine and toolset are very mature, 
creating games is a whole lot easier." In fact, the Slayer 



Buffywas finally released on Xbox last year. Surprisingly, for a licensed product the game 



graphics engine offers the designers so much creative 
freedom that it's being used again, this time to bring Indiana 
Jones to life on PC, Xbox and PS2. 

"The majority of the events portrayed in Emperor's Tomb 
take place in 1934- it's actually a prequel to The Temple 
Of Doom," younger brother Richard Hare tells us. "The story 
concerns the secret history of the First Emperor of China, his 
search for immortality and the incredible tomb in which he 
was buried more than 2000 years ago. Not to give too much 
away, Indy becomes involved in a quest to locate the tomb 
and an artefact of incredible power buried within it. Of course, 
a number of dangerous, competing groups are attempting to 
locate the artefact or protect it, including Nazis and members 
of an occult Chinese triad, the Black Dragons." Aside from 
the original storyline, the developers have also used their 
own artistic licence where the gameplay is concerned: "Indy 
can pick up anything in the environment and use it against 
his opponents, including chairs, bottles, swords, table legs 
and machine guns," Richard points out. "Although we have 
considerably widened the players' arsenal in comparison to 
previous Indiana Jones games, we have ensured that Indy's 
traditional weapons of choice - his fists, pistol and whip - 
remain at the heart of the combat," he adds. 

It's taken almost 20 years for Richard, Doug and Gary to 
get to a position where they can oversee a project as 
significant as Indiana Jones- it was the mid-Eighties when 
they each began working in the games industry. This was a 
boom time for videogames - the arcade industry was 



"I'M ALWAYS 

IMPRESSED 

BY THE 

TALENTS OF 

THE PEOPLE 

WE HAVE 

HIRED ALONG 

THE WAY" 

RICHARD HARE 



D> 



0331 



NEWS I COMMUNITY I COLLECTIVE 



THE PAST 



When The Collective first opened its doors in 1997, it 
hadn't secured any contracts. However, once the first 
couple of projects were into production, it didn't take 
long before other publishers started to take notice... 

MEN IN BLACK psone[i997] 

One of The Collective's first games was this PC- 
to-PSone port of Men In Black. 




STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE 
IE FALLEN macpcpoooj 

□ Star Trek: DS9 was the first game where The 
Collective was allowed to use its creativity. 



JL< 


I 


k 




™ 


1 1 




n 


* ■ 


. 


* 




BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER 

XBOX [2002] 

D The depth of combat in Buffy was astonishing for 
something that was essentially an adventure game. 




034 games 



■ Gary Priest, Richard Hare and Douglas 
Hare gave up the delights (hmm) of the UK 
to go and make games in America. Just 
think, all that Californian sunshine and 
they're indoors at a computer all day. Might 
as well have stayed here. . . 



"BACKIN'86, 

BEING A GAME 

PROGRAMMER 

WASNT REALLY 

A RECOGNIZED 

CAREER 

CHOICE" 

DOUGLAS HARE 




[> thriving and it was gradually becoming clear that bedroom 
programming could lead to a career. In 1985, Gary Priest (then 
aged 16) landed his first job in gaming. "I started working for a 
company called Elite systems, before moving to Gremlin in 
1986," he says. "My very first game was called Frank Bruno's 
Boxing for the Spectrum and Amstrad." At the same time, 
Douglas Hare was also starting to create games, though it 
wasn't really something he'd considered as a career. "You've 
got to remember that back in '86, being a game programmer 
wasn't really a recognized career choice," he says. "Indeed, 
much of the population, including my mum and dad, 
considered games a fad, like hula-hoops, or something." Even 
so, Doug did pursue a career in the industry and went on to 
work on classics like Krusty's Super Funhouse on the SNES. 
Meanwhile, younger brother Richard was attempting to realize 
his dreams by studying philosophy and psychology. "Initially, 
my plan was to become an astronaut," he explains. 
"However, realizing that the NASA headquarters wasn't 
conveniently located near to Musselburgh and that the 
Russian space program had mothballed, my career goal 
changed to something a little more down to earth - a rock 
star." Richard never did become a rock star, but, for the time 
being at least, being creative director and co-owner of The 
Collective is giving him (and the other owners) more than 
enough to think about. 

"The amount of hours and personal sacrifice it takes to run 
a business, and the instability and tricky economics of our 
industry, can sometimes be a drag," says Richard. "It's a 



THREE 
WISE MEN 

from left to right: 

IGary Priest 
Fav games: Planetoid, 
X-Wing, Secret Of 
Monkey Island 1&2 

2 Richard Hare 
Fav games: "I have yet 
to make my favourite 
game of 
all time" 

3 Douglas Hare 
Fav games: Archon, 
Mule, Super Mario 
Bros 3 



THE FUTURE 



The quality of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Buffy The 
Vampire Slayer helped to raise the profile of The 
Collective. It was because of these titles that LucasArts 
approached the company with the Indiana Jones licence, 
as well as agreeing to publish the upcoming turn-based 
action game, Wrath. 

INDIANA JONES AND THE 

TOMB 2003[PC,PS2,XBOX] 

D Using the Slayer graphics engine, The Collective is 
currently bringing Indiana Jones to life as part of a close 
collaboration with LucasArts. 



delicate balancing act between home life, with three young 
children and my very understanding wife, and the exceptional 
demands of being in one of the fastest and most competitive 
industries in the world," adds Doug. But, while the 
three owners are committing a huge amount of their 
time to making a success of The Collective, they're also 
quick to praise their employees. "Although I take pride in my 
own work and the efforts of my partners, I'm always 
impressed by the talents of the people we have hired along 
the way whenever they create something special - be it 
design, art or technology," Richard points out. "There's 
something quite magical about sitting down in a room and 
seeing something for the first time," adds Doug, "whether it's 
new technology, tools, art, level design... It's moments like 
those that make this industry a great place to work." 
And when you see the list of titles that team 
members have been involved with prior to 
working at The Collective, it's no surprise that 
the directors are so keen to flag their 
employees' abilities. With titles as diverse 
as Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, 
Grim Fandango, Civilization and many 
others included in the line-up, it seems 
that the company has knowledge 
spanning enough genres to create 
whatever type of games it wants. 
That's why The Collective 
is definitely a developer to 
keep an eye on. 



the latest big name to 






O 



[GC,PS2,XBOX] 
This RPG-cum-strategy-cum-fighting game will 
appear on the three major consoles. 



games 035 








i" ■ 







Jurassic Park: Operation 
Genesis 'C, PS2, Xbox Theme 
Park meets Jurassic Park 



MOST PLAYED 



METROID PRIME 

Format: GameCube 

Publisher: Nintendo 

Despite good reviews, we can't help 

feeling that some of Nintendo's 

supposedly triple-A GameCube titles 

have fallen short of the mark. But 

Metroid Prime is right up at the top with 

the likes of Super Mario World and 

Zelda: The Ocarina Of Time. That's why 

we can't stop playing it. 



SUPER METROID 

Format: Super Nintendo 

Publisher: Nintendo 

After playing Metroid Prime on 

GameCube, we were inspired to look 

back over the Metroid series. We were 

pleasantly surprised to discover that 

even after all this time, Super Metroid 

still stands up next to the titles being 

released today. A superb blend of 

atmosphere, action and imagination. 



DANCE DANCE 
REVOLUTION 

Format: Arcade, PS2, PSone, Dreamcast 

Publisher: Konami 

There aren't many games that help you 

keep fit as you play them - in fact Dance 

Dance Revolution, or Dancing Stage as 

it's called in the UK, is probably the only 

one. It's also one of the few games that 

attracts interest from the whole office 

whenever we put on our dancing shoes. 



Devil May Cry 2 PS2 Will this be as good 
as its predecessor? Find out next issue. 



tod I f 



036 games™ 



PLAYSTATION2 



EEI^B HjH^I HaSHHiSH 


FEBRUARY '03 


7 Feb 


ATV: Off Road Fury 2 


Sony 




7 Feb 


Vexx 


Acclaim 




14 Feb 


Midnight Club 2 


Take 2 




14 Feb 


Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance 


Midway 


niffn 


14 Feb 


Robotech: Battlecry 


TDK 




14 Feb 


The Sims 


Electronic Arts 


14 Feb 


Space Channel 5.2 


SEGA 




14 Feb 


Tomb Raider: 








The Angel Of Darkness 


Eidos 




14 Feb 


World Racing 


TDK 




21 Feb 


Batman: Dark Tomorrow 


Kemco 




28 Feb 


Return To Castle Wolfenstein 


Activision 




TBC 


Delta Force: Black Hawk Down 


NovaLogic 




TBC 


Ghost Master 


Empire 




TBC 


Moto GP 3 


Sony 




TBC 


Paris Dakar Rally 2 


Acclaim 




TBC 


Primal 


Sony 




TBC 


Rolling 


Rage 




TBC 


Shinobi 


SEGA 




TBC 


SOCOM: US Navy Seals 


Sony 




TBC 


Vexx 


Acclaim 




MARCH '03 


7 March 


Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance 


Konami 


ffsfffn 


7 March 


Rayman 3 Hoodlum Havoc 


Ubi Soft 


inin 


14 March 


Rainbow Six: Raven Shield 


Ubi Soft 




21 March 


Devil May Cry 2 


Capcom 


inin 


21 March 


Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter 


Vivendi 




21 March 


SoulCalibur2 


EA 


inin 


28 March 


Galleon: Islands Of Mystery 


Virgin 




28 March 


Indiana Jones And The 
Emperor's Tomb 


LucasArts 


inin 


28 March 


Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis 


Vivendi 




TBC 


Contra: Shattered Soldier 


Konami 




TBC 


DDRMAX Dance 
Dance Revolution 


Konami 






Gladius 


LucasArts 




TBC 


The King Of Route 66 


SEGA 




TBC 


Malice: Kat's Tale 


Vivendi 




TBC 


Red Dead Revolver 


Capcom 




TBC 


Suikoden 3 


Konami 


hhh 


TBC 


Tenchu 3: Wrath Of Haven 


Activision 




TBC 


True Crimes: Streets Of L.A 


Activision 




TBC 


Xenosaga 


Electronic Arts 


TBC 


Zone Of The Enders: 




m^r^^ni 




The 2nd Runner 


Konami 


|TfUm4j| 


APRIL '03 


TBC 


Club Football 


Codemasters 


TBC 


Dark Chronicle 


Sony Wanted 


TBC 


Falcone: Into The Maelstrom 


Virgin 




TBC 


RTX Red Rock 


Activision 




TBC 


Wild Arms 3 


Sony 




TBC 


World Championship Snooker 


Codemasters 


TBC 


World Series Baseball 2K3 


SEGA 




MAY '03 


TBC 


The Great Escape 


SCi 





-* 



3 



i 




yrnmtm*- 



GAMECUBE 



eh^m Hin^i Mzun^M 


FEBRUARY '03 


7 Feb ■ 


Legends Of Wrestling 2 


Acclaim 




7 Feb 


Outlaw Golf 


TDK 




7 Feb 


Rally Championship 


SCi 




7 Feb 


Vexx 


Acclaim 




14 Feb 


Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance 


Midway 


WflfffU 


14 Feb 


Robotech: Battlecry 


TDK 




21 Feb 


Batman: Dark Tomorrow 


Kemco 




21 Feb 


Hunter: The Reckoning 


Virgin 




28 Feb 


Pac-Man World 2 


Electronic Arts 


28 Feb 


Resident Evil Zero 


Capcom 


FlflffTO 


28 Feb 


Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 


Ubi Soft 




TBC 


Defender 


Midway 




TBC 


Paris Dakar Rally 2 


Acclaim 




TBC 


Rolling 


Rage 




MARCH '03 


7 March 


Rayman 3 Hoodlum Havoc 


Ubi Soft 


WflfffU 


14 March 


Rainbow Six: Raven Shield 


Ubi Soft 




21 March 


Haven: Call Of The King 


Midway 




21 March 


Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter 


Vivendi 




21 March 


SoulCalibur2 


EA 


WflfffU 


28 March 


Galleon: Islands Of Mystery 


Virgin 




28 March 


World Racing 


TDK 




TBC 


1080°: Avalanche 


Nintendo W!H 


TBC 


Evolution Worlds 


Ubi Soft 




TBC 


Hitman 2: Silent Assassin 


Eidos 




TBC 


Powerpuff Girls: Shock Of Ages 


Bam! 




TBC 


Resident Evil 2 


Capcom 




TBC 


Resident Evil 3: Nemesis 


Capcom 




TBC 


Super Monkey Ball 2 


Infogrames 


rifl^i 


TBC 


True Crimes: Streets Of L.A. 


Activision 




APRIL '03 


TBC ^M 


Conflict: Desert Storm 


SCi 




TBC 


Zelda: The Wind Waker 


Nintendo 


FTflfffl 


MAY '03 


TBC ■ 


Black & Bruised 


Vivendi 




TBC 


The Great Escape 


SCi 




TBC 


Shrek Super Party 


TDK 




TBC 


Wario World 


Nintendo 




XBOX 


E^J^B ^EH^H ^I^S^^I 


FEBRUARY '03 


7 Feb 


Racing Evoluzione 


Infogrames 




7 Feb 


Vexx 


Acclaim 




7 Feb 


World Racing 


TDK 




14 Feb 


DOA: Xtreme Beach Volleyball 


Microsoft 


rwyi 


14 Feb 


Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance 


Midway 




21 Feb 


Batman: Dark Tomorrow 


Kemco 




21 Feb 


House Of The Dead 3 


Infogrames 




28 Feb 


Lord Of The Rings: 
The Two Towers 


Electronic Arts 


28 Feb 


Return To Castle Wolfenstein 


Activision 




TBC 


Defender 


Midway 




TBC 


Delta Force: Black Hawk Down 


NovaLogic 





CALM YOUR FEVERISH ANTICIPATION WITH OUR COMPREHENSIVE UST OF FORTHCOMING RELEASES 



1080°: Avalanche GC Can Nintendo 
better the excellent original? 




TBC 


Paris Dakar Rally 2 


Acclaim 




TBC 


Rolling 


Rage 




MARCH '03 


7 March 


Beach Soccer 


Wanadoo 




7 March 


Capcom VS SNK: EO 


Capcom 




7 March 


Kung Fu Chaos 


Microsoft 




7 March 


Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance 


Konami 




7 March 


Midtown Madness 3 


Microsoft 




7 March 


Ray man 3 Hoodlum Havoc 


Ubi Soft 


riffi?! 


14 March 


Rainbow Six: Raven Shield 


Ubi Soft 




21 March 


Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter 


Vivendi 




21 March 


Malice: Kat's Tale 


Vivendi 




21 March 


SoulCalibur2 


EA 


ffflfffl 


28 March 


Brute Force 


Microsoft 




28 March 


Galleon: Islands Of Mystery 


Virgin 




28 March 


Indiana Jones And 
The Emperor's Tomb 


LucasArts 


mill 


28 March 


Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis 


Vivendi 




28 March 


Psychonauts 


Microsoft 




28 March 


SW: Knights Of The Old Republic 


LucasArts 




28 March 


Teo Feng 


Microsoft 




28 March 


Toca: Race Driver 


Codemasters 


nwsni 


28 March 


Tork 


Microsoft 




TBC 


Crimson Skies 3 


Microsoft 




TBC 


Gladius 


LucasArts 




TBC 


Kameo: Elements Of Power 


Microsoft 


nifiin 


TBC 


Lamborghini 


Rage 




TBC 


Ninja Gaiden 


Microsoft 


Flflfffll 


TBC 


Panzer Dragoon Orta 


Infogrames 


Flflfffl 


TBC 


Shenmue 2 


SEGA 




TBC 


Steel Battalion 


Capcom 


rflfffl 


TBC 


ToeJam & Earl III 


SEGA 


rwffro 


TBC 


True Crimes: Streets Of L.A. 


Activision 




TBC 


V-Rally 3 


Infogrames 




APRIL '03 


TBC 


Club Football 


Codemasters 




TBC 


Falcone: Into The Maelstrom 


Virgin 




TBC 


Kakuto Chojin 


Microsoft 




TBC 


Kameo 


Microsoft 


IVffffU 


TBC 


World Championship Snooker 


Codemasters 




MAY '03 


TBC 


The Great Escape 


SC 




PC 


EE^H ^EH^I ^IS3S^9 


FEBRUARY 


03 






7 Feb 


Project IGI 2: Covert Strike 


Codemasters 




7 Feb 


Star Trek Elite Forces 2 


Activision 




7 Feb 


Vletcong 


Take 2 




14 Feb 


Championship Manager 4 


Eidos 


Will IS II 


14 Feb 


Midnight Club 2 


Take 2 




14 Feb 


Tomb Raider: Angel Of Darkness 


Eidos 




21 Feb 


Command & Conquer Generals 


Electronic Arts 


21 Feb 


Dragon's Lair 3D 


Ubi Soft 




TBC 


Defender 


Midway 




TBC 


Delta Force: Black Hawk Down 


NovaLogic 




TBC 


Ghost Master 


Empire 





TBC 


NASCAR Racing 2003 Season 


Vivendi 


TBC 


Shadow Of Memories 


Konami 


MARCH '03 


7 March 


Beach Soccer 


Wanado 


7 March 


Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance 


Konami 


7 March 


Unreal 2: The Awakening 


Infogrames 


14 March 


Rainbow Six: Raven Shield 


Ubi Soft 


28 March 


Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis 


Vivendi 


28 March 


Indiana Jones And The 
Emperor's Tomb 


hbu 

LucasArts ■*•*■**« 


28 March 


Star Wars Galaxies 


LucasArts KlffflTO 


28 March 


Toca: Race Driver 


Codemasters IWflfl 


APRIL '03 


TBC 


World Championship Snooker 


Codemasters 


MAY '03 


02 May 


Heaven And Hell 


CDV 


GBA 


E^I^H HjH^H ^I^M^^I 


FEBRUARY '03 


7 Feb 


Vexx 


Acclaim 


14 Feb 


Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance 


Midway 


28 Feb 


Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced 


Vivendi 


TBC 


ATV: Quad Power Racing 2 


Acclaim 


TBC 


Medal Of Honor: Underground 


Zoo 


TBC 


Rolling 


Rage 


MARCH '03 


7 March 


Beach Soccer 


Wanadoo 


14 March 


Bomberman Max Blue 


Vivendi 


14 March 


Bomberman Max Red 


Vivendi 


TBC 


Golden Sun: The Lost Age 


Nintendo FMSH 


TBC 


Rayman 3 Hoodlum Havoc 


Ubi Soft 


TBC 


Toca World Touring Cars 


Ubi Soft 


APRIL '03 


TBC 


Altered Beast: Guardian 






Of The Realms 


THQ 


TBC 


Crazy Taxi: Catch A Ride 


SEGA 


TBC 


Phantasy Star Collection 


SEGA 


TBC 


The Revenge Of Shinobi 


THQ 


TBC 


Road Rash: Jailbreak 


Zoo 


TBC 


Shaun Murray's Pro 
Wakeboarder 


Activision 


TBC 


Space Channel 5: Ulala's 
Cosmic Attack 


THQ 


TBC 


Yu-Gi-Oh! The Immortal 
Duelist Soul 


Konami 


MAY '03 


TBC 


GT Advance 3: Pro 






Concept Racing 


THQ 





PLEASE NOTE: While every effort has been made to 
ensure these dates are correct at the time of going to 
press, please bear in mind that they are liable to change 
at short notice. It's not our fault, really it isn't. Blame 
market forces. Blame the capricious whim of the 
publishers. But don't blame us, we tried really hard... 



ON THE HORIZON 

XIII 

Format: GameCube, PC, PS2, Xbox 
Publisher: Ubi Soft 

Okay, so it's been delayed again -this 
time until September. Even so, we still 
can't wait for this striking first-person 
shooter. There's no disputing that 
developers are over-using eel-shading 
in their games at the moment, but with 
X///it's actually used incredibly well and 
ties in with the original XIII comic books. 




PROJECT GOTHAM 
RACING 2 

Format: Xbox 
Publisher: Microsoft 
Project Gotham Racing has been one of 
the biggest selling Xbox games so far. 
Not surprising, perhaps, when you take 
into account the astonishingly high 
production values. PGR2 looks set to do 
more of the same, only bigger, better 
and with new cities to tear around. 




F-ZERO 

Format: GameCube 
Publisher: Nintendo 
Because of its work on Super Monkey 
Ball, SEGA Amusement Vision is being 
entrusted with the development of one 
of Nintendo's biggest franchises - 
F-Zero. From what we've seen, the 
game looks set to be one of the most 
graphically demanding (and fun to play) 
titles on the platform so far. 




games™ 037 



NEWS I FROM THE FRONT I UK CHARTS 



AHK 



THE PEOPLE 

IN THE 

GAMES 
' INDUSTRY 

TELL IT LIKE 
i ITIS... 



IT'S ABOUT PLEASING 
ALL OF THE PEOPLE, ALL 
OF THE TIME... 



El Jlforldwide, 
V II there are fifty 
million next-gen 
consoles. Yet many 
games will struggle 
to sell fifty thousand 
copies. Do we 
blame the hit-driven nature of the 
industry? Or pricing strategies? Or, most 
likely, the fact that the 'same old games' 
just find the 'same old audience'? And 
there are lots of people who don't play 
videogames because they find them too 
complicated, too inaccessible and 
perhaps even boring. How do we make 
gaming more mass-market? 

Casual gamers have an appetite for 
gaming but how can we produce 
games that excite the casual and hard- 
core gamers? I believe we need to 
address some game design basics. 

A good start would be to make 
games simpler and more fun. The key 
attributes of titles like Pac-Man and 
Space Invaders was their simplicity and 
addictiveness. Now, there seem to be 
few games with these characteristics, 
and, from a corporate point of view, it's 
far safer to update an existing genre. 

Longevity is also a problem. Twenty 
years ago I could only last five minutes 
on Defender- and that's still the case 
now. It's great for making money in 
arcades but less attractive for a £30 
purchase, so we need a way of easing 
the learning curve so players feel like 
they're getting real value. 

Casual gamers are more receptive to 
new ideas - but show them a game like 
Mario Sunshine and they'll dismiss it as 
"the same as the last one". There must 
be innovation in gaming. We also need 
more flair and risk taking. Publishers 
and developers will need to target the 
casual gamers who are flocking to PS2. 

Of course, mass-market games need 
imaginative marketing to reach their 
customers. Sadly, most publishers are 
used to selling the 'same old games' to 
'the same old audience'. Things have to 
change, and fast - otherwise the games 
industry will miss a huge opportunity. 

Nalin Sharma 

PuzzleKings 



VIETNAM WAS 

THE FIRST 

TELEVISED 

WAR, NOW 

ITS THE 

NEXT-GEN 

CONSOLES 



EXPOSURE EXPOSED 

GAMING ADVERTS FILL OUR SCREENS 
WELL INTO THE NEW YEAR 



More game ads mean less 

Carol Vorderman - which can 

only be a good thing. 



As gaming becomes a more mainstream 
pastime, TV adverts appear more and 
more frequently. In fact, there were almost as 
many gaming adverts this year as for any other 
potential gift. One of the most televised ads was 
for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the notorious 
crime romp even proclaims its exclusivity after 
half a minute of tantalising game footage. This 
may as well be a PlayStation2 console advert, 
as Vice City has probably shifted as many 
machines as any of Sony's PS2 commercials. 
Ratchet And Clank and The Getaway were also 
plugged heavily - Sony opted to put its money 
behind these strong titles rather than designated 
console advertising. Given that the PlayStation 
brand is already widely renowned, we'd say this 
was a wise move and one that is supported by 
high sales figures. 

Nintendo and Microsoft took a different 
stance, opting to focus on their biggest titles for 



the year ahead. With Microsoft, this was part of 
a show-reel containing titles past, present and 
future, but Nintendo's advertising has been 
almost entirely based on 2003 releases. With 
such a quiet Christmas for the GameCube (both 
in terms of hardware sales and key releases), 
they really had no choice but to look to the 
future after Super Mario Sunshine and StarFox 
Adventures - the two biggest hopes for the end 
of 2002 - both performed worse than expected. 
In fact, Microsoft was, as far as we're aware, the 
only firm to run hardware television ads - the 
Jet Set Radio FuturelSEGA GT2002 bundle 
was the subject of several TV spots and it's sold 
very well. 

Christmas as a whole was a case of selling 
machines off the back of high-profile exclusive 
titles; Vice City on PS2 and Splinter Cell on Xbox 
while GameCube was left with fewer exclusives, 
which helps explain its disappointing sales. 



NO CALM, PLENTY OF STORM 

THERE'S LOADS STILL TO COME IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS 

It's a time that we all dread in the games mag industry 
- the post-Christmas lull, when there really is very 
little to write about. In the past, the first quarter of each 
year has always been relatively quiet on the gaming 
front but it looks as though 2003 is set to change all that. 
With over 140 titles planned for the first three months of 
the year across all console, handheld and PC formats 
(before you allow for slippage, of course), there's 
■I certainly not going to be a shortage of things for you to 
spend your Christmas cash on. The most important 
thing to look forward to though is the Easter period; the 
middle of March signals the launch of online services for 
both Xbox and PlayStation2, plus the possible (but not 
confirmed) release of the modem adapter for the 
GameCube with Phantasy Star Online. Online console 
gaming is a relatively unproven market but this could 
01: Mefro/rfPr/meshould be a massive seller on GameCube ■ 02.: Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance very well be the moment when all of that changes. 

couldridehighonthesu^ Better get those applications for broadband connection 

let GameCube owners go, er, online (obviously) ■ 04: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Angel Of Darkness 

sees our comely heroine go all stealthy. ' n q U I CK, TO I KS . . . 



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038 games™ 



FEATURES I REINVENTING A GENRE 



PIE IN 

THE SKY 

CHRISTMAS 2002 SEES 
CONSOLE SALES BOOM 

Christmas is always the busiest time of the year 
for the videogames industry and 2002 was no 
different - hardware sales increased massively 
during the week ending 7 December. As predicted in 
games™ issue 1, it was Sony's PS2 that led the way 
in terms of units sold, with an enormous 1 13,862 
machines shifted in the UK during that one week 
alone. Even so, Xbox saw the biggest rise in units 
sold during the same period, increasing 31% on the 
previous week to 27,829 machines. 

The sudden interest in Xbox comes as no surprise, 
of course. Along with a number of aggressive TV ad 
campaigns, the temporary exclusivity deal with Ubi 
Soft's Splinter Cell and two great value bundles 
available, the Xbox package was incredibly desirable. 
For less than £200, shoppers could pick up an Xbox 
console, Jet Set Radio Future, SEGA GT2002, Halo: 
Combat Evolved and Splinter Cell, which really is 
astonishing value for money. In fact, buying the 
contents separately would normally cost £340. 

But despite all of Microsoft's efforts, Xbox really 
couldn't compete with sales of PS2. Apart from the 
fact that the PlayStation brand name is better-known 
than either of its rivals, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 
and, to a lesser extent, The Getaway were no doubt 
the deciding factors that made many shoppers 
choose PS2 over the competition. We suspect that 
Microsoft is kicking itself for letting Sony get the 
exclusive on GTA. 

As for Nintendo, while GBA sales picked up during 
the first week of December, GameCube didn't make 
anywhere near as much noise as Nintendo wanted. 
Although Super Mario Sunshine, StarFox Adventures 
and Mario Party 4 were quality releases, their style 
did little to contradict Nintendo's 'kiddie' image. The 
problem now is that while a range of new quality 
titles such as Metroid Prime and Zelda: The Wind 
Waker are due this year, some retailers may have 
already downscaled their focus on the console as a 
result of disappointing Christmas sales. Let's just 
hope they reconsider... 




CONSOLE 
SALES 

(Week ending 
Dec 7 2002) 



INCREASE 

ON 

PREVIOUS 

WEEK 




I PlayStation^ 62% 

113,862 units 

GBA: 18% 

32,345 units 

Xbox: 14% 

27,829 units 

I GameCube: 6% 

11,531units 

Xbox: 31% 

I PlayStation^ 23% 

GBA: 18% 

I GameCube: 15% 



■ Xbox saw a 
healthy rise in 
pre-Christmas 
sales. Was this 
all because of 
Splinter Cell? Ws 
not unlikely... it 
is ace, after all. 




UK MULTIFORMAT TOP TEN 

Title Publisher Format 


1 


The Getaway 


SCEE 


PS2 


2 


GTA: Vice City 


Take 2 


PS2 


3 


Harry Potter & The 
Chamber Of Secrets 


EA Games 


PS2,GC,Xbox, 
PC, PSone, GBA 


4 


FIFA 2003 


EA Sports 


PS2,GC,Xbox, 
PC, PSone, GBA 


5 


James Bond 007: Nightfire 


EA Games 


PS2,GC,Xbox,PC 


6 


Lord Of The Rings: TTT 


EA Games 


PS2,GBA 


7 


Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 


Ubi Soft 


Xbox 


8 


Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 


Activision 


PS2,GC, 
Xbox, GBA 


9 


WWE Smackdown: 
Shut Your Mouth 


THQ 


PS2 


10 


Pro Evolution Soccer 2 


Konami 


PS2 



■ Well, would you Adam and Eve it? Obviously, all that time in 
development has done the world of good for The Getaway, as the 
game jumped straight in at the top spot. Or maybe it was all that 
advertising that Sony did... In any case, the sure-fire Christmas 
number one that was GTA: Vice City turned out to be an also-ran 
- bet you never saw that one coming, eh? 




All information is compiled by ChartTrack and is the strict copyright of 
ELSPA (UK) Ltd. UK Multiformat Sales Charts (w/e Sat Dec 14, 2002) 



games™ 039 



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EVOLUTION 
OF GAMING 

REINVENTING A GENRE 

IS IT AN RPG OR AN ADVENTURE? MAYBE IT'S A PLATFORM 
GAME? THESE DAYS, ITS OFTEN HARD TO TELL 




THERE WAS ONCE A TIME when a consumer 
knew exactly what they were buying; Sonic 
was clearly a platform game, Fifa was 
obviously a sports title and Street Fighter 
needed no introduction at all. So what happened? When 
did genres begin to merge to such an extent that they've 
now become almost indistinguishable from one another? 
And what has happened to previously popular genres 
such as the scrolling beat-'em-up? 

Well, categorizing games has always been something of 
a tricky task. Take Pong, for example - was it a puzzle or a 
sports game? Derivatives such as Breakout leaned more 
heavily towards the puzzle side of things, but then tennis 
games have also borrowed substantially from the formula 
over the years. Of course, the fact that Pong was one of the 
first ever videogames meant the genres hadn't really been 
defined. It was only when the industry was a little more 
established that the occasional game started to stand out 
because it didn't quite fit in. 

Back in the early days, titles would sometimes feature a 
blend of different genres, and the ones that did were 
usually identified as such. It was fairly common to see a 
game labelled as Action/Adventure or Action/RPG, and 
though a few titles were still listed as being one thing, they 
actually offered a whole lot more. Konami's Goemon 
(Legend Of The Mystical Ninja) was one of those games. 
Although it was usually touted as an RPG, a large 
percentage of what went on was actually standard side- 
scrolling platforming. On top of that there were numerous 
puzzle mini-games that could be played purely for fun or to 
earn money that could be spent on all the usual RPG items. 

The main difference between then and now though, is 
that these days elements from different genres are 
included in almost every title released, as opposed to just 
the odd one or two. Even the good old football game is 
being expanded to include strategy and RPG-like features. 
Konami's Pro Evolution series, for instance, has gradually 
evolved from a straightforward football game into a fairly 
comprehensive footie management sim, complete with all 
the stats that any football fan could wish for. Then there 
are games like Splinter Cell that feature a blend of many V^ 

games™ 041 



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N> different genres; elements of shooting, strategy, 
adventure and even platforming have been skilfully 
bound together by Ubi Soft's Montreal studio, 
resulting in something that, at a glance at least, 
appears quite unlike anything else. 

INTO THE THIRD DIMENSION 

So when did this current trend for merging genres 
begin? Well, the evolution of 3D graphics over the 
past few years seems to have had a lot to do with 
it. Back in 1999, Neversoft changed people's 
perception of sports games forever when it 
released Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. It wasn't the first 
extreme sports game to feature skateboarding of 
course - California Games (amongst others) had 
brought the sport to the world of videogames 
many years previously. But, thanks to the 
3D capabilities of the PSone, Neversoft 
was able to bring the sport to life 
much more successfully than ever 
before. It did this by not only 
including a comprehensive range 
of skateboarding moves and 
professional skateboarders, but 
also by borrowing heavily from 
the structure of Mario 64 (which 
had been released three 
years previously). 

In fact, as the Tony Hawk 
franchise has matured, more 
and more platform-esque 
elements have been 
implemented. The latest game 
in the series features many 
tasks that require locating and 
collecting items, much in the 
same way that Mario collects 
stars in Mario 64. And working 
your way up to the roof of 
Alcatraz prison isn't at all dissimilar 
to scaling the mountain in Mario 64s 
first level, Bobomb Battlefield. Of 
course, Neversoft has cleverly 

042 games™ 



stylised everything so that it still feels like 
skateboarding, even though a lot of the content 
could work just as well in a platform game. 

Although the introduction of Tony Hawks Pro 
Skater has taken the sports genre in new directions, 
Mario 64 was one title that really did re-invent a 
genre. When Nintendo was developing the game, it 
discovered that creating worlds in 3D was 
considerably more time-consuming than in 2D. The 
designers needed to come up with a way of 
increasing longevity without upping the number of 
levels. By adding multiple objectives to the levels, 
each one needed to be played though more than 
once, thus increasing the game's lifespan without 
the need for more production time. It was also one 
of the first 3D adventure games to feature a highly 
intuitive control system. Compared to the decidedly 
clunky feeling of Lara Croft on a digital D-pad, 
controlling Mario with the N64's analogue stick 
was like a dream come true. Unsurprisingly, 
almost every subsequent platform game has 
been influenced by Mario 64. 

But while occasional 
titles such as Mario 64 
have completely 
changed the direction of 
their respective genres, 
the evolution of other 
genres has gone without 
such obvious 
transformations. Racing 
games, for example, 
haven't really changed a 
great deal since their 
inception over 25 years ago. 
Even so, there have been a few 
Interesting additions to the genre along 
the way. Polyphony's Gran Turismo must 
surely get most of the credit for setting 
new standards for realism, as well as 
offering the most comprehensive 
collection of cars and upgrades ever in a 
racing simulation. Even with these 







RACING 



.'EM-UP 



While some genres have 
seen the introduction of titles 
that drastically change the 
direction in which they're 
heading, the racing and 
driving genre has had a fairly 
smooth evolution from 
where it started to where we 
are today. It's also one of the 
few genres that has many 
obvious sub-genres, from 
rally driving to Formula 1 to 
street racing and so on. 

And that's before you've 
taken into account the likes 
of Super Mario Kart, 
WipEout, Micro Machines 
and all the other fantasy- 
based titles that have been 
introduced through the 
years. Some gamers may not 
be fond of certain types of 
games, but the racing genre 
is one so broad that it really 
does include 

something for 
everyone. 
Even non- 




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r\ features though, the actual driving dynamics didn't 
really offer a new experience to the player. Then, of 
course, there was Nintendo's Super Mario Kart 
which not only took racing games off on a tangent, 
but also spawned a huge selection of copycat titles. 

It doesn't take a genius to notice that sports, 
adventure and racing games continue to go from 
strength to strength, but enthusiasm for beat-'em- 
ups (which were once just as popular) has been 
dwindling recently. This probably has a lot to do 
with the decline of the arcade industry, though the 
lack of originality injected by developers over the 
last couple of years is undoubtedly a contributing 
factor. It's amazing to think that after the ingenuity 
shown by Capcom with Power Stone (its largely 
forgotten Dreamcast fighting game), no other 
developer has tried anything near as 
groundbreaking. Just look at Namco's market- 
leading Tekken series - the upgrades to Tekken 4 
were so slight that it's debatable whether it was 
worth developing the game at all. 

But the one-on-one fighting game is positively 
thriving compared to the good old scrolling 
beat-'em-up. In the past, titles such as Final 
Fight and Streets Of 
Rage were key titles 
for their 
publishers, 
though now 
they're nowhere to 
be seen. Could it be that 
we've actually witnessed the death 
of a genre? Well... no, actually. You 
see, not only does the occasional 
scrolling beat-'em-up still come 
along from time to time (see 
Shinobi on page 1 1 2), but there 
are many other current titles that 
feature the essence of the genre 
within something a little more in- 
depth. Take Buffy The Vampire 
Slayer- it may be classed as an 
adventure game, though more than 




50 per cent of the action is essentially a scrolling 
beat-'em-up. Even online RPGs such as Phantasy 
Star Online have parallels - especially to titles such 
as Golden Axe. 

MERGE INTO THE FUTURE 

So, where will this amalgamation of genres lead 
us? It's a good question and one that's almost 
impossible to answer right now. One thing that 
looks certain to affect the direction of videogame 
genres over the next few years is the introduction 
of online gaming as a mainstream feature for each 
of the three major consoles. It will be interesting to 
see how certain genres are adapted to work better 
in an online multiplayer environment. A few years 
ago, Namco created a PSone football game called 
Libero Grande in which the player took control of a 
single footballer, with the rest of the team 
controlled by the CPU. Sadly, the hardware 
struggled to run such an advanced program and, 
with a lack of decent Al, the title failed to live 
up to expectations. But, as an online 
football game, Libero Grande 
would be ideal, as each footballer 
could theoretically be controlled 
by gamers from anywhere in the 
world. But why stop there? There's 
nothing to suggest that an online 
game couldn't include an example 
from every genre in a sort of online 
theme park. Just imagine driving around 
San Francisco in a crazy taxi 
and seeing other players 
fighting on the rooftops, 
enjoying a game of tennis 
W J or avoiding giant monkeys 
in plastic balls. It may sound 
far-fetched now, but such a thing could be 
the norm within a few years. 

Then again, people said the same 
thing about virtual reality headsets, 
and we all know what 
happened there... 



044 games™ 



*> 







The strategy genre is one that continually does well, despite the fact that 

it never generates the same level of hysteria as sports or racing games. 

Classics such as Cannon Fodder were certainly popular in their day, 

though it was the early 1990s when the genre really seemed to take off. 

Back then, titles such as Command & Conquer were incredibly 

successful, though in recent years more diverse offerings such as The 

Sims have attracted a brand new audience of their own. 




Just like racing games, there 
hasn't been any one particular 
moment in time when the 
puzzle genre drastically 
changed direction - it too has 
seen a fairly smooth evolution 
to the present day. However, 
while there haven't been any 
obvious breakthrough titles 
over the years, many other 
types of games have included 
puzzle elements. Not 
surprising, perhaps, when you 
consider that games (both 
electronic and traditional) most 
probably stemmed from 
ancient puzzles and riddles. 

But, while the basic puzzle 
genre would seem a little less 
mainstream than it once was, 
titles such as Dance Dance 
Revolution and Mario Party 
(which aren't strictly puzzle 
games, but 







IP MLM 



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PREVIEW I NETWORK BIOHAZARD I PLAYSTATION2 




WHAT'S THIS? A RESIDENT EVIL TITLE THAT'S NOT EXCLUSIVE TO GAMECUBE? 



I It came as a surprise to the entire 
I videogame industry when Nintendo 
and Capcom announced that their 
Biohazard series (Resident Evil in the West) 
was to become GameCube exclusive. 
PlayStation2 was selling in huge quantities 
and, seeing as how Onimusha and Devil 
May Cry had been successful around the 
world, it was strange that Capcom should 
want to limit one of its most prolific licences 
to a format with a lower installed base. 
Apparently, the decision was due mainly to 
the fact that Biohazard creator Shinji 
Mikami found the GameCube development 
tools more user-friendly than PS2's, 
allowing him greater control over the 
creative process. But a short while after the 
contract was made public, details of a 
brand new Biohazard game quietly slipped 
out of Capcom's Japanese headquarters - a 
Biohazard game exclusive to PS2. Quite 
how Capcom has got round the GameCube 
exclusivity deal is unclear, though it's 
apparent that Shinji Mikami isn't involved in 
this project in any way. 

So far, in-depth details of the content of 
Network Biohazard remain sketchy, though 
a few tasty morsels of information have 
begun to filter though. For starters, there 
will be a choice of eight playable 
characters, each a civilian from Raccoon 
City rather than members of the S.T.A.R.S. 
team. They are: Kevin, George, Yoko, Mark, 
Cindy, David, Jim and Alyssa - each with 



their own personality, strengths and 
weaknesses. Kevin, for example, is a 
member of the Raccoon City Police 
Department and is extremely strong. Jim, a 
worker on the Raccoon City subway 
system, is outspoken and knows the city 
well, while journalist Alyssa is hot- 
tempered and may be more suited to 
riddle-solving than some of the others. 

Although eight characters are included, 
only four people can play online 
simultaneously, with the other characters 
controlled by the CPU. Capcom assures us 
that the artificial intelligence will be top- 
notch and that those taking part won't be 
able to distinguish between the human- 
and CPU-controlled characters. This is a 
massive claim and one that, judging by the 
quality of the Al in most games, won't be 
fulfilled. Still, the quality of Capcom's recent 
products suggests that the company is 
becoming extremely well-versed in 3D 
design, so we'll reserve proper judgement 
until the game is released later in the year. 

The idea of playing Biohazard online is 
certainly intriguing and should offer 
something a little different for fans of the 
series. All the action takes place in the heart 
of Raccoon City itself and this, combined 
with a story that links Biohazard 2 and 
Biohazard 3, should result in some 
interesting scenarios. That said, Capcom 
has already made it quite clear that this 
won't be a simple case of destroying 



enemies whist having a chat, as is the case 
with Phantasy Star Online. Instead, 
progression will be structured in much the 
same way as the regular Biohazard titles 
which, theoretically, may make things a little 
more linear than we'd like, but should also 
help to get round a few of the problems 
associated with online gaming. 

If it all goes according to plan, there'll be 
less aimless wandering and more puzzle- 
solving and adventure elements. The only 
other question is whether this structured 
approach will decrease the longevity and 
replay factor in any way at all. 
Hopefully, all our questions will be 
answered very soon. 



FORMAT: 

PlayStation2 
ORIGIN: Japan 
PUBLISHER: Capcom 
DEVELOPER: 

In-House 
RELEASE: TBA 
(Japan: TBC/ 
US: TBA) 

GENRE: Adventure 
PLAYERS: 1-4 
(online) 

■ Resident Evil goes 
online. Team up with 
other players to 
escape the horrors of 
Raccoon City. 



A WORK OF ART 

Looking at these screenshots, it's easy to dismiss the 
graphics as the same 2D pre-renders used in 
Biohazard and Biohazard Zero on GameCube. 
However, closer inspection suggests that, for this 
outing, much of Raccoon City and its suburbs has 
been constructed out of polygons. When you consider 
that Network Biohazard is online and involves 
interaction between many more characters, we'll be 
amazed if Capcom has been able to squeeze so much 
out of the PS2. Everything is crisp and sharp, and the 
quality and number of textures being used is 
astonishing. Of course, there is a chance that this level 
of detail will mean that other areas of the game suffer 
as a result. The frame rate, for example, may be 
horribly inconsistent. Judging by Capcom's heritage 
though, Network Biohazard should be every bit as 
good as it looks here. 




048 games™ 



NETWORK BIOHAZARD 

PLAYSTATION2 



COMPANY PROFILE 



Lj W\Jjq 



■ Nearly a decade ago, Capcom was best known for creating Street Fighter 2. However, since releasing Resident 
Evil on PSone, the company has become famous for re-inventing the survival horror game. Other highlights 
include the Power Stone games on Dreamcast and the stylish Samurai adventure, Onimusha. 



HISTORY 

■ AUTO MODELUSTA 2002 [PlayStation2] 

■ RESIDENT EVIL 2002 [GameCube] 

■ ZELDA: ORACLE OF AGES 2001 [GBC] 



\ 










I All the usual atmospheric 
lighting is already in place to make 
it all seem that little bit more eerie. 



THE BIOHAZARD GAMES HAVE 
A MASSIVE FAN BASE AND IT 
WOULD BE DANGEROUS FOR 
US TO CHANGE THE 
CONTROLS DRASTICALL*" 



MESSING AROUND WITH NETWORK BIOHAZARD 

Hat. a 

BIOHAZARD 2 BIOHAZARD 3 PS2 BROADBAND NB 



I Early code suggests that all sorts of items can 
be used as weapons. Hit his mind out! 



■ It's still unclear whether the animation 
will be reworked, though the typical foot- 
munching is still in there at the moment 



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games™ 049 



PREVIEW I RESIDENT EVIL ZERO I GAMECUBE 



RESIDENT EVIL ZERO 




"THE DOOR TO SAFETY IS SHUT... THERE IS NO TURNING BACK." REALLY, THERE ISN'T. 



Pi 



I Games will come and games will go, 
I but Resident Evil stays the same - at 
least that's what our mothers used to say 
(sort of). When it came out 1996, we doubt 
anyone could have forseen just how big 
the Resident Evil concept was going to 
become, spawning everything from 
comics, movies and spin-offs like Dino 
Crisis on top of actual sequels. However, 
you might have thought that we could 
expect a little evolution over the years, just 
to keep the series fresh, you understand. 
That's why the anticipated release of 
Resident Evil Zero is set to be a breath of 
fresh air to the Survival Horror genre, even 
though, at first glance, it just looks like the 
same thing all over again. 

While you might not see it from these 
screens, a number of important changes 
have been made to RE Zero's structure. 
The most obvious new facet is the much- 
vaunted Partner Zapping system that 
allows you to switch control between lead 
characters Rebecca Chambers and Billy 
Coen at any time (an idea suited to the 
original N64 incarnation of RE Zero thanks 
to the absence of loading times). You'll 
have to change characters during the 
game for all manner of reasons and even 
split them up on occasion. For example, if 
Rebecca gets trapped, it's up to Billy to find 
a way out; or if there's a lift that can only 
carry one person at a time, someone has 
to stay behind to operate it. Even when 



you're working together, you'll have to 
keep a close eye on what the other person 
is doing (especially when fending off 
zombies), but if you find yourself needing 
to control both characters at once it's a 
simple case of using the Analogue Stick for 
the lead and the C-stick for your partner. 

Although Partner Zapping is the one 
change that everyone knows about, there 
are others that, while not quite as drastic, 
still play an important role in how the game 
progresses. For instance, Capcom has 
removed the magical item boxes from the 
game, which means you have to be far 
more tactical about how you manage your 
inventory. To compensate for the loss 
though, there are now two new ways for 
you to offload items. If Rebecca and Billy are 
near each other, they can exchange objects 
and weapons or, if push comes to shove, 
you can just drop unwanted items on the 
floor. Naturally, anything you drop can be 
picked up again when you need it, but with 
only six item-slots available per character 
(with some of the better weapons taking up 
two slots or more), you'll need to keep track 
of how much space you've got free. 

Of course, the most interesting thing 
about RE Zero is where it fits into Resident 
Evil's grand scheme. Rather than 
awkwardly elbowing in between the other 
games, this latest chapter in the story is 
actually the granddaddy of them all. So, 
does that mean we'll finally discover how 



the mansion incident happened, who 
unleashed the T-Virus in Raccoon City and, 
most importantly of all, why Albert Wesker 
is such a git? Probably. From what we can 
tell so far, the reasons behind the T-Virus 
outbreak are far more complicated than we 
ever thought - and we've only been 
playing it long enough to escape from the 
train and make it to relative safety. 
Needless to say, we're already preparing to 
jump behind the sofa - no doubt 
you will be too when the game 
lands over here this March. 



TWO BECOME ONE 



FORMAT: GameCube 
ORIGIN: Japan 
PUBLISHER: Capcom 
DEVELOPER: 

In-House 

RELEASE: 8 March 
'03 (Japan/US: 
Out Now) 
GENRE: Survival 
Horror 
PLAYERS: 1 

■ Capcom gives us 
more zombies, 
shotguns and plenty 
of gore. Nice. 



Most of the time you're able to explore the game as a 
pair or alone (it's up to you), but there are several 
situations where Billy and Rebecca have to work 
together. Sometimes, this involves helping each other 
using their individual abilities - for example, Billy's 
strength lets him crank up a large metal cage on a 
chain, allowing Rebecca to run under it and grab the 
item within. At other times, the pair have to help each 
other from afar; to stop the train, for instance, they 
have to simultaneously operate two panels placed at 
either end of the train. Thankfully, controlling the 
characters in these circumstances is incredibly easy 
and is very gratifying when you get it right. 

'RE ZERO ALREADY HAS THE 
EDGE OVER THE REMAKE OF THE 
ORIGINAL - YOU DONT KNOW 
WHAT'S COMING..." 



050 games'" 



RESIDENT EVIL ZERO 



GAMECUBE 




DEVELOPER PROFILE 



HISTORY 



■ Despite looking incredibly young, Tatsuya Minami has had quite an illustrious career at Capcom - so illustrious 
in fact, that he now holds the position of general manager at the firm's Production Studio 3. He's been 
responsible for some classic titles including the original Ghosts 7V Goblins and the MegaMan X series. 



I CLOCK TOWER 3 2002 [PS2] 

I MEGAMAN X 1992 [SNES] 

I GHOSTS 'N' GOBLINS 1985 [Arcade] 







games™ 051 



PREVIEW I MORTAL KOMBAT: DEADLY ALLIANCE I GAMECUBE/MULTIFORMAT 

MORTAL KOMBAT: 
DE ADLY ALLIANCE ^_ 

■ If it's blood you're after, you can't ^^^^ 

go wrong with a sword to the face - I 

some of the weapons you can use in I 

, the game are just plain brutal... _ j 




052 games™ 



MORTAL KOMBAT: DEADLY ALLIANCE 



G AIVI ECU BE/IVl U LTIFORIVI AT 




DEVELOPER PROFILE 



■ Born in Chicago, Illinois, Ed Boon has been working in Midway's Chicago development office for 16 years. 
Hired when the firm was known as Williams Electronics, his first job was programming pinball machines. He then 
went on to develop High Impact Football and, after a sequel, moved on to work on Mortal Kombat. 



HISTORY 



I MORTAL KOMBAT 3 1995 [Arcade] 

! MORTAL KOMBAT I1 1993 [Arcade] 

MORTAL KOMBAT 1992 [Arcade] 



LIKE YOUR BEAT-'EM-UPS SERVED EXTRA BLOODY? MIDWAY'S GOT THE DISH FOR YOU. 



IW1 We might have only been young 
Is} whippersnappers when the original 
Mortal Kombatiirst landed in our local 
arcade, but even then we could tell what 
kind of an impact the game was going to 
have. On one hand, you had the gamers - 
flocking around the machine, sharing move 
lists and pulling off gut-wrenching fatalities 
without batting an eyelid - and on the other, 
there were the parents who were 'outraged' 
that such a game existed. Sure, it wasn't the 
best fighting game in the world, but 
controversy guaranteed its popularity - 
especially when the bigger, better and 
bloodier sequel came out the following year. 

Although the success of Mortal Kombat II 
guaranteed even more follow-ups, they 
never managed to best MKII in terms of 
gameplay despite innovations like the Run 
Button, 3D graphics or weapons. But now 
Midway has decided to bring the series back 
for one more run (maybe more, depending 
on how well this title does). Interestingly 
enough, this is the first game in the Mortal 
Kombat series to be created specifically for 
home consoles (compilations like MKGold 
and rubbish platform efforts like MK 
Mythologies aside), rather than being ported 
from an arcade version. Will it make a 
difference? Going by what we've played so 
far, we certainly think so. 

While it takes several ideas from all of 
the previous MK games, Mortal Kombat: 
Deadly Alliance has gone back to the 



drawing board in an attempt to redefine 
what the series is all about. Gone are the 
days of comedy finishers, merciful endings 
and the chance to give your friends gifts 
instead of death. Instead, Midway has 
made sure that this fifth game is darker and 
nastier than anything you've seen before. 

There's a whole new selection of blood- 
soaked fatality moves to keep you 
occupied, as well as a suitably evil story, 
loads of action and, obviously, buckets of 
blood. The majority of the elements that 
have been kept are from the rather average 
Mortal Kombat 4 -most notably, the use of 
3D arenas and weaponry unique to each 
fighter. This time around though, the 
weapons are much more flexible in their 
use and play an important role in each 
character's fighting style. 

If it's improved fighting mechanics and 
more realistic character models you're 
after, MK:DA has them in spades. Each 
fighter now has three martial arts-based 
fighting styles (two hand-to-hand and one 
weapon-based technique) as well as a bevy 
of special moves. Changing styles is as 
easy as pushing a single button, which 
makes linking moves into one another a 
piece of cake (and your opponents will 
have to keep adapting their defences to 
counter each of your techniques). The 
biggest enhancement of all though has to 
be the graphics. Considering how rough 
the fighters looked in MK4, the ones in 



MK:DA are a massive improvement. On 
the Xbox and GameCube versions 
particularly, each of the combatants (or 
kombatants, if you want to be picky) look 
highly detailed and very well animated. 

With several modes of play to 
experience (including an all-new Konquest 
mode) and a whole ton of hidden bonuses, 
arenas and other goodies, MK:DA is 
definitely the best game to come from the 
Mortal Kombat stable since the SNES 
version of MKII. We only hope 
people haven't been put off by the 
series's recent poor performance. 



FORMAT: GameCube/ 
PS2/Xbox/GBA 
ORIGIN: US 
PUBLISHER: Midway 
DEVELOPER: 
In-House 

RELEASE: 14 Feb '03 
(US: Out Now) 
GENRE: Beat-'em-up 
PLAYERS: 1-2 

■ This fifth outing in 
the MK series has 
more blood, weapons 
and fatalities than 
ever before. 



"AFTER THE LAST FEW EFFORTS, 
IT'S GOOD TO SEE THAT ONE OF 
OUR FAVOURITE FIGHTERS HAS 
RECLAIMED ITS PAST GLORY" 

THE FINAL TEST 

Anyone who remembers the first Mortal Kombat game will 
recall the cool mini-game that appeared in single-player mode. 
These Test Your Might sections might have been simple enough 
(slap the buttons as fast as you can), but trying to shatter each 
block of material in front of you was still fun. Midway has 
reintroduced this mini-game along with a new one called Test 
Your Sight. This one's more about concentration than brute force 
- can you remember which cup is hiding the dragon crest after 
they've been shuffled around? Getting it right the first time might 
be easy, but winning on the highest level (six cups moving at 
light speed with a rotating camera for company) is a bit trickier. . . 




games™ 053 



PREVIEW I INDIANA JONES AND THE EMPEROR'S TOMB I XBOX/MULTI FORMAT 



IMDIAIMA 



AND 



WHO NEEDS LARA CROFT WHEN THERE'S INDIANA JONES, THE ORIGINAL TOMB RAIDER? 



m Despite being ideally suited to the 
2 world of videogames, the Indiana 
Jones licence has never performed 
particularly well at retail - especially when 
you take into account just how popular 
Tomb Raider has been over the past few 
years. Indiana Jones And The Infernal 
Machine on PC and N64 was the most 
recent failed attempt - the lateness of its 
arrival on N64 and the fact that it was 
completely overshadowed by Tomb Raider 
probably having more to do with its 
lacklustre performance than the actual 
quality of the game itself. Even so, 
LucasArts has decided to take a slightly 
different approach with its latest Indy title 
by focusing on a different element of 
the movies. 

In a collaboration with The Collective 
(the company responsible for Buffy The 
Vampire Slayer on Xbox), LucasArts has 
reduced the explorative element from the 
previous Indy titles down to around 30 per 
cent of the game, with the other 70 per 
cent now taking up beating up Nazis, 
Triads and all the other bad guys you'd 
expect to see in an Indiana Jones game. 
Thankfully, this is all done using the Buffy 
game engine, which has been tweaked for 
many months to guarantee plenty of depth 
to the combat. Foes can be punched 
against walls, chairs can be picked up and 
used as weapons and a variety of Tekken- 
esque combos are on offer. In fact, the 
length to which the Buffy game engine has 
influenced the creation is astonishing - 



complete animation routines have been 
carried straight across from one title to the 
other. At this stage in development Indy 
opens doors, grabs enemies and even 
climbs walls exactly the same way as 
Buffy. Whether any of these animations will 
be updated before final release is unclear, 
though anyone who played Buffy will 
certainly get a strong sense of deja vu if 
they're not. 

Of course, there are many other Indiana- 
only features that have been added. Indy's 
whip, for example, can be used to swing 
across chasms, strangle villains and even 
snatch the guns out of enemies' bare 
hands. And yes, the guns can actually be 
used, though their inclusion does feel a 
little tacked-on at the moment. Another 
area that currently needs attention is the 
jumping, which can be somewhat 
inaccurate. It wasn't perfect in Buffy either, 
but life-threatening pitfalls were held back 
until the later levels, whereas here they're 
very much part of the proceedings from 
the outset. There were also numerous 
connection problems in the early version 
we played, resulting in incidents where 
we'd fall to our doom, despite being well 
within the set boundaries. 

Of course, there's still enough time for 
such issues to be resolved before the game 
goes gold; the preview version of Buffy 
was similarly flawed just weeks before its 
release. Even if these problems are 
adjusted though, it's unlikely that The 
Emperors TombW\\\ turn out to be a 



classic - after all, Buffywas nothing more 
than a solid, enjoyable game that managed 
to capture the spirit and humour of the TV 
show perfectly, much to the appreciation 
of its fans. From what we've seen so far, 
The Emperors Tomb looks set to be 
completed to a similar standard - certainly 
the style, pacing and atmosphere of the 
movies are already well-woven into the 
design. If the last couple of months of 
development time are used wisely, this 
could very well turn out to be the most 
successful Indiana Jones game of all 
time. We shall see. 



FORMAT: Xbox, PC, 
PS2 

ORIGIN: US 
PUBLISHER: 

Activision 
DEVELOPER: 

The Collective/ 
LucasArts 

RELEASE: 28 March 
(PC&Xbox);Q2'03 
(PS2) (Japan: TBC, 
US: Out Now) 
GENRE: Adventure 
PLAYERS: 1 

Part beat-'em-up, 
part adventure. The 
Emperor's Tomb 
looks set to offer just 
about everything 
you'd expect from an 
Indiana Jones game. 



TAKE YOUR HAT OFF 

The Collective has made Indy as faithful as possible to 
the movies, right down to getting his Fedora knocked 
off during brawls. Of course, you can always knock 
rivals' hats off then wear them yourself if you wish. 
This feature is taken further, giving you the opportunity 
to change your entire costume and attempt to infiltrate 
tricky situations unnoticed. However, at this stage in 
development the feature is more about visual variety 
than gameplay, as guards usually spot you despite your 
disguise. LucasArts assures us that the Al will be 
improved before release, though the fact that this is 
essentially a beat-'em-up makes us think that the 
stealth element won't be integral to the gameplay. 

'LUCASARTS HAS DECIDED TO TAKE 

A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT APPROACH 

WITH ITS LATEST INDY TITLE" 




INDIANA JONES 

XBOX/MULTI FORMAT 



EMPER 



TOMB 




games™ 055 



PREVIEW I PRIMAL I PLAYSTATI0N2 



PRIMAL 






SONY THROWS A SUPERNATURAL ADVENTURE INTO THE RING 

Utt's incredible what variety Sony's in- 
house development teams produce in 
their products. One minute you'll be 
catching escaped apes and the next you'll be 
committing crimes around the streets of 
London. This is why Primal may come as a 
surprise to many, because Sony has decided 
to have a crack at an epic fantasy adventure. 

Dragged into a strange land, lead 
character Jen teams up with a gargoyle by 
the name of Scree - the player is then free 
to switch between the two protagonists at 
any time. Jen is more agile and her slight 



FORMAT: 

PlayStation2 
ORIGIN: Japan 
PUBLISHER: SCEE 
DEVELOPER: 

In-House 

RELEASE: February 
'03 (Japan/US: TBA) 
GENRE: Adventure 
PLAYERS: 1 

■ Talking gargoyles, 
ancient races and an 
epic struggle... a 
concise fantasy 
package, then. 



'A GREAT CONCEPT 

BUT CURRENTLY 

LACKING THE 

SUBSTANCE OF 

SOME OF ITS 

COMPETITORS" 



frame allows her to slip into places her 
chunky friend cannot reach, while Scree is 
able to climb walls and turn into stone to 
prevent damage. The only way to make 
progress is to use these unique skills. 

From what we've seen, control is fairly 
limited; jumping, climbing and other actions 
are all assigned to one context-sensitive 
button, which limits the feeling of actually 
being in control. Combat is similar in that it 
can only be initiated when near to an 
enemy, and even then the scope is 
remarkably limited. Only three basic attacks 
exist, and these seem to be infinitely 
linkable. Hopefully, these elements will be 
tweaked and polished for the finished game. 

That said, we've already been 
impressed by Primafs presentation. 
Visually, the game is at least on a par with 
the best PlayStation2 games and even 
comes close to rivalling some titles on the 
more powerful consoles. We're not all that 
shocked at the polished nature of Primal - 
it's being developed by SCEE Studio 
Cambridge, the same team that created the 
award-winning MediEvil series that 
squeezed so much out of the PSone. Aside 
from this visual sheen though, there's not 
all that much to rave about in Primal. After 
the initial impact of the sumptuous visuals 
and some nice touches, the game seemed 
to degenerate into repetitive tasks broken 
up by questionable combat. We really want 
to like it but, at the moment, this is no 
landmark development. With StarFox 
already doing the same thing better on 
GameCube and Lara set to return next 
year, it remains to be seen whether 
Primal 'will be able to live up to 
Sony's high hopes. 




056 games™ 



PREVIEW I LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE WIND WAKER I GAMECUBE 




MIYAMOTO-SAN TEACHES THE WORLD TO CONTROL ITS WIND 



I What's your fondest memory of the 
I last videogaming generation? Half- 
Life perhaps? Or maybe GoldenEye? How 
about Final Fantasy VII, Gran Turismo or 
Metal Gear Solid? Let's face it, there are 
many different answers but one thing is for 
sure - for an awful lot of people, their 
defining gaming experience saw them 
exploring dungeons and plummeting back 
and forth through time courtesy of a 
magical ocarina. The Legend OfZelda: 
Ocarina Of lime set the standard for the 3D 
action RPG and, for his next elf-related trick, 
Shigeru Miyamoto has opted for a marked 
change in his graphical approach to the 
game. What has widely been touted as a 
eel-shaded technique is actually cartoon 
shading, an effect that allows Link and his 
fellow Hyrulians to ooze style and character. 

Miyamoto-san strongly believes that 
realism doesn't necessarily come as a 
result of photo-realistic textures and a true- 
to-life physics engine, and to truly immerse 
the player in the new environment he has 
concentrated on creating extremely 
accurate expressions and reactions on the 
characters' faces. We've already played the 
Japanese version of the game plenty and 
every time, the little elf has surprised us 
with the dozens of reactions that he can 
give to any single situation. Link resembles 
a small child with his over-expressive face 
and curious eyes. Indeed, the eyes have 
been changed many times during the 
game's lengthly development process so 
that they're just right. Being able to read 



Link's emotions is more than just a novelty 
addition though; quite often Link will peer 
in a certain direction to hint at something 
that may be just out of sight. It may be an 
item, a grapple point or an approaching 
enemy - and you'll be able to tell straight 
away what type of mystery awaits you. For 
example, an item might get a casual glance 
whereas a grapple point will earn you a 
curious peek. 

While you might think that the cartoon 
style would result in a simplistic world, 
Miyamoto-san's team have used it to their 
advantage. The cartoon shading means 
that the in-game environments can get 
away with a lower polygon count. The 
extra geometry has been thrown back into 
the game in the form of leaves, tassels, 
earrings and loose clothing. All of these 
items are beautifully modelled and 
animated - Link's hog-like adversaries wear 
flowing robes and carry long spears with 
decorative tassels. Anyone who has 
watched the Star Wars Episode II bonus 
DVD will know how much work went into 
animating Yoda's robe and it has to be said 
that just as much intricacy seems to have 
gone into TWW's characters. 

But what of the actual game? Well, it's 
no surprise that familiar faces like Princess 
Zelda and the evil wizard Gannondorf 
make an appearance (what with the game 
being called The Legend OfZelda and 
everything) but this time around, there's 
much more to do than just save Zelda's 
arse. As with every other Zelda title, there 



is a theme to the game that makes itself 
apparent in the game's subtitle. Just as 
Ocarina Of Time revolved around a time- 
altering musical instrument, The Wind 
Waker concentrates on controlling the 
wind. This aspect is essential to the game, 
and the two major areas of gameplay 
innovation reflect this. The early sections of 
the game will seem like standard Zelda 
territory, but after playing for a few hours 
Link will have to find himself a small 
Dragon Boat. The boat is the only available 
method of transport between the 
numerous island hideouts that Link must 
visit. In typical Nintendo style, the Dragon 
Boat is alive and talks to Link, much like 
the animated FLUDD device from Super 



[> 



FORMAT: GameCube 
ORIGIN: Japan 
PUBLISHER: 
Nintendo 
DEVELOPER: 
In-House 
RELEASE: Q2 03 
(Japan: Out Now/ 
US: 24 March) 
GENRE: Action RPG 
PLAYERS: 1 

■ Control the 
infamous elf Link in a 
third-person 
adventure with 
numerous RPG and 
puzzle-based 
elements. Should 
keep you busy... 



WINDY BY NATURE 

The Wand Of The Wind is the item around which 
the entire game revolves. It resembles a 
conductor's baton and Link has to use it in much 
the same way that a conductor would lead an 
orchestra. Instructions come up on the screen in 
the form of C-stick directions. Flicking the C-stick 
in the right directions will alter the direction of 
the wind. Link can choose the direction he wants 
to use, but each change has its own C-stick 
combination. A successful combination means 
Link can reach new areas using the Dragon Boat 
and Deku Leaves. 

"BY LEARNING SET PATTERNS 

LINK CAN 'CONDUCT THE WIND, 

THUS CHANGING ITS DIRECTION" 




060 games™ 



LEGEND OF ZELDA 

GAMECUBE 




games™ 061 



PREVIEW I LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE WIND WAKER I GAMECUBE 



LEGEND OF ZELDA 



(Ci 



•WUW 



JFD) 




'YOU GET A SENSE OF ADVENTURE... I CAN GUARANTEE THAT" 

SHIGERU MIYAMOTO, NINTENDO 



N> Mario Sunshine. Apart from giving advice 
on which parts of the seabed are likely to 
hold treasure, the boat will also fill you in 
on the existence of the Wand Of The Wind. 
By learning specific wand patterns Link can 
'conduct' the wind, thus changing its 
direction. The Dragon Boat is powered by 
the wind and without it Link is going 
nowhere. By changing the direction of the 
wind, Link can visit new areas and further 
his exploration. The cynics amongst you 
could argue that this is a very cheeky way 
of limiting your exploration, and yes, 
essentially that's what it does. 

The second use for the wind comes in 
the form of gliding. Later on in the game, 
Link will enter an area of the ocean filled 
with Deku Trees (they're a bit like giant 
beanstalks). The trees are hundreds of 
metres apart and the only way to progress 
is to grab hold of a Deku Leaf and make a 
leap for it from the treetops. Once 
airborne, general direction and speed can 
be controlled via the D-pad. If the wind is 
blowing towards you, common sense will 
tell you that you aren't going anywhere. 
Similarly, a crosswind will blow you way 
off target - the Super Monkey Ball fans out 
there will recognise this as a blatant rip-off 
of Monkey Target. Miyamoto-san has 
expressed his love of SEGA's classic in the 
past and here's the confirmation. 

One aspect of Ocarina Of Time that has 
been adopted by practically every 
subsequent 3D adventure game is the 
lock-on system. This battle system has 
been brought back for TWW, albeit with 
more options and subtle changes. The B- 



button has many more uses in the game 
than simply cancelling a decision. In a 
battle situation, your sword will give you 
cues for more powerful strikes (such as 
leaping clean over an enemy and smacking 
him on the noggin). Upon landing, Link can 
immediately turn and continue the attack, 
and fans will be pleased to hear that you 
can charge Link's spinning attack while you 
are jumping around. 

A well-placed spin attack will throw an 
enemy across the room. In a confined area 
enemies will bounce off walls and back 
into a spinning attack, making for some 
very pleasing juggle combos. With two or 
three enemies in a room the fun increases 
ten-fold as the overweight hogs get thrown 
into each other like a game of skittles - and 
all enemies will drop whatever they 
happen to be carrying, be it items, armour 
or weapons. In many cases, the use of an 
enemy's weapon is essential to 
progressing through a dungeon. Link's 
weedy wooden blade isn't going to be 
much use against a hefty door but a six- 
foot long steel blade might just do the trick. 

If past Zelda games are anything to go 
by, these new additions will just be the tip 
of the iceberg. Despite having the game in 
the office right now, there seems to be little 
point in reviewing a title for which an in- 
depth understanding of the storyline and 
conversation is so important. Therefore, 
you can expect something much more 
substantial from us when the US version 
hits the streets in March. Can you 
wait that long? We certainly can't. 
Two whole months... 



INSURMOUNTABLE ODDS 

Ifs amazing what a bit of dedication (and 
having a kidnapped little sister) can make 
you do. Despite coming up against 200- 
feet-high, molten magma-breathing 
monsters, the yard-high elfling still 
manages to overcome the odds. This can 
be put down to the fact that he has a 
plentiful supply of gadgets to hand, such 
as grappling hooks, a boomerang, a 
sword, bombs and magical fairies who 
bring him back to life. Helpful that. 
Nintendo has made all these items 
extremely easy to use - after all, the 
difficulty of the game shouldn't lie in using 
the weaponry. Not all of Link's gadgets are 
used to do damage, though. Items such as 
the telescope can be used to discover 
secret caves and floating debris on the 
high seas, or to scope out possible landing 
points from the tops of Deku Trees. 







062 games'" 



LEGEND OF ZELDA 

GAMECUBE 



DEVELOPER PROFILE 



HISTORY 



■ The Wind Waker is the next big thing from Shigeru Miyamoto, the legendary games designer responsible for 
Donkey Kong, Super Mario and the Legend OfZelda series. He has also overseen pretty much every Nintendo 
first and second-party title, from Mario Kart to 1080°, right through to Metroid Prime. 



METROID PRIME 2002 [GameCube] 
ANIMAL CROSSING 2002 [GameCube] 
SUPER MARIO SUNSHINE 2002 [GameCube] 




games™ 063 



PREVIEW I IGI 2: COVERT STRIKE I PC 




■ Draw distance and pop-up are two 
things you won't have to worry about 
Armed guards, on the other hand. . . 




IT'S OFFICIAL - STEALTH IS THE NEW 'BULLET TIME' 



FORMAT: PC 
ORIGIN: Europe 
PUBLISHER: 

Codemasters 
DEVELOPER: 
Innerloop Studios 
RELEASE: February 
'03 (Japan/US: TBA) 
GENRE: Shoot-'em-up 
PLAYERS: 1-16 

■ The PC isn't short of 
first-person shooters 
but/G/2couldturna 
few heads. 



"MILITARY 

ACCURACY, 

STEALTH-BASED 

GAMEPLAY AND 

LUSH VISUALS 

MAKE UP THE 

IGI PACKAGE" 



B Picture the scene - rolling hills, vast 
plains and huge towns, all of which 
can be freely explored and exploited over 
the course of a mission. While such idyllic 
thoughts may be some way off in terms of 
gaming, several shooters have hinted at 
such large-scale environments and the 
finest effort so far must be a little-known 
PC game called Project IGI. One of the 
title's main selling points was its epic 
settings - the sprawling landscapes were a 
remarkable feat of freedom. Luckily, IGI 2 
seems to use this feature even more than 



its predecessor. Long-distance sniping over 
areas in excess of a mile is set to be 
commonplace, but there'll be more than 
enough 'up close and personal' moments 
to maintain a good balance. 

It's clear that all-out realism is the goal 
with IGI 2; Innerloop has enlisted the 
services of SAS hero and author Chris 
Ryan. As military consultant on the project, 
he's ensuring that the firearms available to 
the player (over 30 real weapons will be 
featured) look and, more importantly, 
function like the real thing. The crux of the 
game still maintains the heavy emphasis 
on stealth - find yourself outnumbered and 
you'll soon find yourself dead. 

The only real comparisons that can be 
drawn are with the many Tom Clancy 
games - with the exception of Splinter Cell, 
these tend to be very clinical and 
unforgiving. That said, IGI 2 is more active 
and also much more forgiving while 
maintaining its integral realism. Difficult it 
may be, but it remains predominantly fair. 

Being a PC game, how it looks and runs 
will always depend on your machine. 
Given that the requirements for the first 
game were pretty high, we envisage the 
finalised specs being really rather 
demanding. But then look what you get for 
your investment - IGI 2 looks extremely 
impressive as well as showcasing 
countless unique features that should 
really stand out in the crowded market. 

Multiplayer has been confirmed but not 
seen as yet (although it sounds similar to 
Counter-Strike). So long as the finished 
product lives up to what we've seen 
so far, IGI 2 could be one of the 
sleeper hits of the year. 



■ Get a clear view of your target before taking the shot - 
giving away your location is a foolish mistake to make. 





064 games™ 




PREVIEW I STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD F Z I XBOX/MULTI FORMAT 

STAR WARS: KNIGHTS 
OF THE OLD REPUBLIC 




I The sun spills into this Bantha paddock with such 
intensity that it softens the edges of the canopy. 




A STAR WARS TITLE TO PLEASE THE MOST DIE-HARD JEDI GAMERS 



FORMAT: Xbox/PC 
ORIGIN: US 
PUBLISHER: 

Activision 
DEVELOPER: 

BioWare 
RELEASE: March 
(Xbox), Q2 '03 (PC) 
(Japan/US: TBC) 
GENRE: RPG 
PLAYERS: 1 

With BioWare's 
heritage and Lucas- 
Arts's licence, is this 
the RPG of the year? 



"KNIGHTS OF THE 

OLD REPUBLIC IS 

SHAPING UP TO BE 

THE MOST 

COMPREHENSIVE 

STAR WARS GAME 

EVER CREATED" 



There are so many LucasArts 
1^2 videogames that simply don't live up 
to the standards set by the Star Wars 
movies. Many utilise fairly competent 
graphics engines and John Williams's superb 
score, and are even fairly creative in terms of 
design and structure. But the finished 
product always seems to lack the polish 
you'd expect from such a prolific developer. 
Thankfully, this trend looks set to change 
with the release of Star Wars: Knights Of 
The Old Republic on PC and Xbox, as it's 
being created by acclaimed PC RPG 




developer BioWare, rather than in-house at 
LucasArts. BioWare is particularly well- 
known for its in-depth approach to the RPG 
genre; every one of its titles has featured a 
hefty selection of character stats and 
evolution, as well as many hours of 
gameplay. And that's exactly how the 
company is developing KOTOR- we're 
promised up to 60 hours of gameplay, 
crammed full of all the stat-tweaking and 
character-building any Star Wars, or indeed 
RPG, fan could ever wish for. 

The adventure is set 4,000 years before 
the first movie, in a time when both Jedi 
and Sith number in the thousands. As a 
Jedi Knight, you and a group of three other 
warriors (be they human, Wookie, droid or 
something else from the Star Wars 
universe) must travel to various locations, 
destroying all evil. The clever part is that this 
can be played either as a standard slash- 
'em-up, a team strategy game or a full turn- 
based battle affair in which you decide 
every attack that each individual team 
member makes. At the moment, this area of 
the game is still being adjusted, though 
BioWare is confident that the finished results 
will be well worth the wait. 

As for the rest of the game, things are 
already looking mighty impressive. The 
graphics engine is capable of handling a 
wide variation of effects from 3D grass to 
shadow-casting and bump-mapping, and 
the cut-scenes (created by BioWare) are 
incredibly authentic. Add to that a 
soundtrack that blends musical phrases from 
John Williams's classic score with brand 
new tunes and it's clear that KOTOR is 
shaping up to be the most comprehensive 
Star Wars game ever. And after several poor 
showings for the Star Wars licence 
(see page 127 for proof), devoted 
Jedi gamers need something decent. 



066 games™ 



PREVIEW I METAL GEAR SOLID 2: SUBSTANCE I XBOX/MULTIFORMAT 



METAL 




PRAY SILENCE FOR THE FATHER OF MODERN STEALTH GAMES, 
SOLID SNAKE. OH, AND THAT RAIDEN GUY AGAIN... 



FORMAT: Xbox/PS2 
ORIGIN: Japan 
PUBLISHER: Konami 
DEVELOPER: 

In-House 
RELEASE: March 
(US: Out Now) 
GENRE: Adventure 
PLAYERS: 1 

■ Hundreds of VR 
missons and 
numerous extra 
game modes herald 
Snake and Raiden's 
multiformat return. 
Will Sam Fisher be 
running to the hills? 



With many proclaiming Sam Fisher 
2 the new Solid Snake, it's only fair 
that the rugged MGS sneaker gets another 
chance to shine. After the much-hyped 
launch of Metal Gear Solid 2, players were 
divided into two camps; for every person 
absorbed by the stealth action and 
cinematic feel, another would dismiss the 
game outright. Yet despite the controversy, 
there was something about the second 
coming of Snake that kept us playing. And 
for those who weren't that impressed first 
time around, this 'Director's Cut' package 
may well add enough to warrant a second 
look. Every element is being enhanced to 
bring more action, more insight into the 
storyline and generally more Gearforyour 
money. A multi-format release will bring 
the series to a wider audience than ever 
before, but will the world be seeing Raiden, 
Snake and co in their best light? 

Well, what's not to like about Metal 
Gear? For those who thought there wasn't 
enough action, Substance adds a more 
than generous helping of extra gameplay 
via several new play modes - most 
obviously the VR Missions. There are over 
350 of these skill tests that span multiple 
characters and tasks, and if that wasn't 
enough to keep you going, each of these is 
ranked (the code you receive at the end of 
a chart-topping run can be used to place 
you in a worldwide ranking system 
through Konami's Web site). There are two 
types of mission: VR Missions - not a new 
idea but well-executed nonetheless - and 
Alternative Missions, similar situations but 
in real-world environments. You may have 



heard about a skateboarding mini-game, 
but you won't find it here. Screenshots and 
details were taken from the forthcoming 
Evolution Skateboarding, where some 
characters and stages are of Metal Gear 
origin - no such mode exists in Substance, 
more's the pity. 

There's also the small matter of Snake 
Tales; this five-part story should silence 
Raiden's critics as Snake fans can now see 
just what Snake was up to on the Big Shell. 
The story runs from Snake and Raiden's first 
meeting to brand new story elements 
created solely for this package. Thanks to 
the Alternative Missions, you'll also be able 
to cross over missions - for the first time 
you can be Snake in the Plant and take 
Raiden to the Tanker. The original rumour 
was that the entire game would be playable 
with either character but this doesn't appear 
to be the case; quite how the story and cut- 
scenes would ever have covered this is a 
mystery. We're glad they've listened to the 
fans and given Snake a more active role, but 
on the other hand it's hard to see anything 
wrong with Raiden's character. The initial 
shock of not playing as Snake throughout 
the game just left a lot of people with an 
instant dislike for his replacement. 

From an aesthetic point of view, the 
main game in the PS2 version has changed 
little since the title was first released. That 
said, few titles have matched the overall 
quality and attention to detail of Konami's 
stealth opus so it still comes across as quite 
visually striking. Moving it over to 
Microsoft's powerhouse is another story - it 
has sharper textures, quicker loading and 



full Dolby Digital support among the 
improvements. Bear in mind, though, that 
the game was originally designed for the 
PS2 controller - that's not to say that the 
larger pad doesn't work, but the 'four 
shoulder button' layout is rather heavily 
employed. But for now it's back to VR 
Training -we'll have all those missions 
done in no time. Honest... 






THE FUTURE IS NOW 

Could people have been more wrong 
about Virtual Reality? Far from being 'the 
future of entertainmenf , VR is now just a 
fading memory. It was a nice idea though, 
and we're obviously not the only ones 
who think so - the original Metal Gear 
Solid was treated to the VR Missions 
expansion shortly after its release and now 
Substance is keeping the VR dream alive. 
Once again, there are literally hundreds of 
these training missions on offer to put all 
your sneaky skills to the test. And 
completing them all has got to earn you 
something special, right? 






068 games™ 



METAL GEAR SOLID 2: SUBSTANCE 



XBOX/MULTI FORMAT 




DEVELOPER PROFILE 



HISTORY 



■ The brains behind the entire Metal Gear Solid series, Hideo Kojima, was born in Setagaya, Tokyo, in 1963. After 
joining Konami as a game designer, he swiftly moved up the ranks and released the original Metal Gear on the 
MSX in 1987. Despite an MSX sequel in 1990, it wasn't until 1998 that Solid Snake made his PSone debut. 



I METAL GEAR SOLID 2 2001 [PS2] 
1 METAL GEAR SOLID 1998 [PSone] 
I POLICENAUTS 1996 [Saturn] 



games™ 069 



PREVIEW I GALLEON I XBOX/MULTIFORMAT 





LLEON: ISLANDS OF 





TOMB RAIDER WITH PIRATES? WE'LL DOWN SOME GROG TO THAT... 

g Delays and videogames go hand in 
hand these days. Gone is the time 
when developers could knock out five to 
ten titles a year - it's now not uncommon 
for games to be several years in the 
making. Currently due for release over 
"WE JUST HOPE three years after it was first announced, 
TL I _ _ TLJ _ _ VTD - Galleon still has the makings of a great 

' rIM I Int CA I riM game. Learning from the mistakes of the 
DEVELOPMENT TIME Tomb Raider series, Galleon has always 

■ Q DC||V|/^ pi IT TO promised to go places that Lara's 

adventures have never quite managed. 
CjCJCJU UoL Hopefully this extra time in production will 



FORMAT: 

Xbox/GameCube 
ORIGIN: UK 
PUBLISHER: 
Interplay 
DEVELOPER: 
Confounding Factor 
RELEASE: 28 March 
GENRE: Adventure 
PLAYERS: 1 

■ Lara Croft's creator 
turns his attention to 
the seven seas in this 
delayed adventure. 



have helped Confounding Factor realise its 
goal with what is an increasingly ambitious 
title. We're not expecting a groundbreaking 
game but if it even approaches its own 
hype, it'll be nothing short of superb. 

Galleon follows the exploits of Captain 
Rhama Sabrier and his crew across six 
massive areas of a fictional world. Seeing 
as how Toby Gard was responsible for Ms 
Croft's 'assets', it comes as a surprise that 
the central character here is male. Rhama's 
speed, agility and dashing good looks 
combine to form the perfect seafaring hero, 
but he obviously needs the assistance of a 
perfect ship's crew. This is where Gard has 
really gone to town - most of the crew 
members recruited over the course of the 
quest fall into the 'female', 'buxom' and 
'attractive' categories. Each has unique 
abilities that will undoubtedly be essential 
in the completion of your mission to (you 
guessed it) retrieve a powerful ancient 
artefact before it falls into the wrong hands. 

The Tomb Raider links don't stop with 
Toby Gard, either. Gameplay-wise, expect 
jumping and puzzle solving to be 
interspersed with swashbuckling action and 
exploring sections. One major difference 
from Lara's tales is the graphical style; gone 
is the wannabe realism in favour of a neat 
stylised look. While we agree that this may 
not look particularly amazing from stills, the 
animation sets off the style beautifully. 
Much as we're looking forward to Galleon, 
we are a little worried by the continued 
delays the game suffers. As long as the 
hold-ups prove not to be in vain, we look 
forward to scouring the globe for 
buried treasure in March. Or June. 
Or sometime next year. . . 




Let's get this straight - you're attacking a giant 
crustacean with your bare hands. Hmm. . . 



070 games™ 




PREVIEW I SOS: THE FINAL ESCAPE I PLAYSTATION2 




NATURE CAN BE SCARIER THAN ANYTHING COOKED UP IN A LAB. 



FORMAT: PlayStation2 
ORIGIN: Japan 
PUBLISHER: 

Big ben Interactive 
DEVELOPER: I rem 
RELEASE: February 
'03 (Japan/US: 
Out Now) 
GENRE: Adventure 
PLAYERS: 1 

■ Following a huge 
earthquake, escape to 
safety by traversing 
the deadly aftermath. 



"THIS LOOKS 

LIKE IT WILL BE A 

REFRESHINGLY 

INVENTIVE 

SLANT ON THE 

SURVIVAL 

HORROR GENRE" 



U You'd think that if you took the 
enemies out of a survival horror 
game, you'd be left with nothing to do. Can 
you imagine Resident Evil sans zombies? 

Eternal Darkness without, er, thingies? No, 
us neither. But this is exactly the approach 
being taken by I rem with SOS: The Final 
Escape. This story doesn't feature any 
imaginary beasties, just a very real terror - 
earthquakes. Starting in Capital City, an area 
recently devastated by a huge quake, your 
task is to make your way from the disaster 
zone and reach relative safety. Having been 



missed by the last rescue chopper, you're 
left with no choice but to go it alone on foot, 
and so the adventure begins. 

The last parting helicopter is good 
enough to leave behind a rucksack of 
supplies - you'll need to keep an eye on 
your thirst level so as not to get 
dehydrated during your struggle for 
survival. You'll also receive a handy 
compass and the backpack can be used to 
store the many items found over the 
course of your escape. These vary from 
maps and diaries to umbrellas and 
shovels, all of which you'll need if you are 
to make it to safety. Of course, with the 
island having been heavily populated you 
won't be alone in your exploits. There are 
numerous other people with the same goal 
as you, some of whom will join you, while 
others will lend a hand briefly rather than 
actually coming with you. 

From what we've seen, SOS offers 
something different to the hordes of 'scary 
monster' titles; it's remarkable that such a 
feeling of dread has been created when the 
only enemies are time and the elements. 
Visually and aurally, the game certainly isn't 
enormously taxing for Sony's machine, but 
this is no bad thing - the sense of scale and 
impending doom created by the 
surroundings (not to mention the attention 
to detail, right down to your clothes 
becoming tattered as you scramble through 
rubble) is so great, you won't even notice 
that everything is slightly rough around the 
edges. Sure, there's nothing to run away 
from and nobody to shoot at, but we still 
feel that SOS could prove to be an 
unexpected success when it escapes 
to safety later in the year. 



■ Occasionally the ground will fall right out from 
under you, leaving you clinging on for dear life. 




072 games™ 



PREVIEW I SUPER MONKEY BALL JR I GAME BOY ADVANCE 



SUPER MONKEY BALL JR 



I Get to 



a bonus level and grab the bananas. And 
do bananas make? Extra lives of course. Dub. 






OuiiiiJ 




;j iU!iEa3J!Lifpg mi^Ai Ems 



^LHIlLilil-fl 





* 



n ^M"iiiurmT 



** 



i aaiuu msm 




■ Another one bites the dust - or more specifically, 
plunges headlong into the bottomless abyss below. 




MONKEYS, BALLS AND A GAME BOY ADVANCE - WHAT MORE COULD YOU POSSIBLY WANT? 



FORMAT: GBA 
ORIGIN: UK 
PUBLISHER: 
THQ 

DEVELOPER: 
SEGA 

RELEASE: Q1 03 
GENRE: Puzzle 
PLAYERS: 1-4 

■ The premise is the 
same - get the 
monkey in a ball 
through each goal 
safely. But now the 
whole thing's been 
squeezed onto the 
GBA. Lovely. 



"MONKEY BALL ON 

THE GAMECUBE KEPT 

US GOING FOR AGES 

- PUTTING IT ON THE 

GBA IS TANTAMOUNT 

TO SOCIAL SUICIDE" 



E Whatever it is that the folks at SEGA 
are smoking, we'd like some please - 
after all, it must have taken a fair amount 
of 'funny cigarettes' to come up with the 
concept for Super Monkey Ball. Fair 
enough, it's an idea that had been done 
before [Marble Madness had been and 
gone nearly two decades previously) but 
throwing monkeys into the mix as well? 
Pure genius. The disadvantage of the whole 
thing is that the GameCube isn't exactly the 
most portable of games consoles - even 
with the Wavebird, we can't play the game 
as much as we'd like without sitting in front 
of the TV all day. That was, however, before 




L^EGUKDfl 



SEGA had the idea of bringing the game to 
the GBA- and in a form that'll impress 
even the most cynical of gamers. 

Of course, if the game looks remarkably 
similar to the original GameCube version 
then why will people be impressed? Well, 
probably because Super Monkey Ball Jr 
does look so much like its GameCube 
counterpart. Slightly cut-down visuals aside 
(and you can't knock the GBA for that - it's a 
32-bit handheld, for Christ's sake), it's nigh- 
on identical. This, not surprisingly, is a good 
thing because the concept was pretty much 
perfect as it was. While the thought of 
balancing a monkey in a ball along a series 
of platforms might not sound like much, it's 
frustratingly addictive - even when brought 
over in slimmed-down form to the GBA. 

What's more, there's a selection of mini- 
games on offer to unlock including 
stalwarts such as Monkey Fight, Monkey 
Bowling and Monkey Golf- again, all in 
practically identical forms to the GameCube 
versions. Unfortunately, one thing that 
Super Monkey Ball Jr doesn't take 
advantage of is the innovative tilt cartridge 
used by Kirby Jilt AT Tumble on the Game 
Boy Color. As the mercury-equipped cart 
recognises which direction you tip the 
handheld in, you'd have thought that this 
game would have been perfect for it. 
However, as it's difficult enough to see the 
GBA screen from one angle (let alone 
many), we can appreciate why SEGA isn't 
taking advantage of it. 

The only downside to all this is that 
Super Monkey Ball Jr still doesn't have a 
confirmed release date in the UK, so 
monkey-fans will have to hold their 
collective horses. In the meantime 
though, we can at least thank the 
lord for small miracles... and even 
smaller monkeys. 






074 games™ 




PREVIEW I STARSKY AND HUTCH I PS2/MULTI FORMAT 




ANDH 



■ Use those handbrake turns to good effect and you'll soon 
be notching up the ratings. Just watch the hair, okay? 



'SPEEDING THROUGH 
THE STREETS WITH 
THE WIND RACING 
THROUGH YOUR 
AFRO-STYLED HAIR 
HAS NEVER BEEN SO 
ENTERTAINING" 



FORMAT: 

PS2/Xbox/GC/GBA/PC 
ORIGIN: UK 
PUBLISHER: 
Empire Interactive 
DEVELOPER: 
Mind's Eye 
RELEASE: March '03 
(PS2/PC),June'03 
(Xbox), September 
'03 (GC/GBA) 
GENRE: Driving 
PLAYERS: 1-2 

■ Grab your flares 
and get ready for a 
seventies spin round 
the block as you 
chase bad guys, look 
cool and snag ratings. 






RIDE WITH THE COPS WHO ARE TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL 



IR S Jl ^ e 'ate seventies/early eighties TV 
III revival thing seems to be very in at 
the moment. Not only have we seen recent 
videogame versions of shows like The 
Dukes Of Hazzard and Knight Rider, but 
now it's the turn of those flares-wearing, 
jive-talking cops Starsky and Hutch. Based 
on the original TV show and featuring the 
voice of Huggy Bear himself, the action is 
exactly what you'd imagine - there's a 
criminal on the loose and, obviously, it's 
your job to catch him. 

It might look like a basic driving game 
from these screens, but the title actually 
plays like a combination of other games - 



think the open-plan map style of something 
like Driver or GTA3 (complete with lots of 
narrow alleyways to dodge down) mixed 
with the chasing, crashing and shooting 
action that we haven't seen since the days 
of Chase HQ in the arcades. Although 
catching the criminal is paramount, you 
also have to think about your ratings - after 
all, a TV show isn't successful without 
viewers. If you want to up your ratings 
you'll have to be exciting by smashing 
through crates, hitting ramps and skidding 
round every corner- just like in the show. 

Because it features a crime-fighting 
duo, it's no surprise to learn that Starsky 



And Hutch gives you the chance to enjoy 
the game with a friend, although it's not 
the typical split-screen action you might 
expect. Instead, you each get to be one 
half of the team - one person drives the 
car while the other leans out of the 
window and fires hot lead at the bad guys. 
Naturally, two pads are the norm for this 
but if you're lucky enough to own a 
steering wheel you can use that to drive. 
Even better though, owners of the 
PlayStation2 version will be able to use a 
combination of a steering wheel and a 
lightgun to play as a team; the lack of a 
lightgun for the Xbox and GameCube 
though, means that this feature hasn't 
been confirmed for anything other than 
the PS2 game. 

From the early code we've played so 
far, the game shows promise. Obviously, 
it's a little rough around the edges but 
there's nothing that can't be polished up in 
the final build. As long as the game 
manages to capture the atmosphere of the 
show and offer a decent gameplay 
experience at the same time (something 
both The Dukes Of Hazzard and 
Knight Rider failed to do), Empire 
should be onto a winner. 




076 games™ 



PREVIEW I STEEL BATTALION I XBOX 






STEEL BATTALION 




078 games™ 



STEEL BATTALION 




DEVELOPER PROFILE 



■ Although he's already risen to the ranks of Producer at Capcom's Production Studio 4, Atsushi Inaba is a 
relative newcomer to the games industry - his only other work for Capcom is Resident Evil Code: Veronica. With 
a sequel to Steel Battalion already underway though, there's no doubt that Inaba-san will be a famous face soon. 



HISTORY 



■ RE CODE: VERONICA X 2001 [PS2] 

■ RE CODE: VERONICA 1999 [Dreamcast] 



IT BRINGS A WHOLE NEW MEANING TO THE TERM 'HEAVY METAL' 



Big robots rule - that's a fact, so 
don't go denying it. From the 
Gundam craze in Japan to the likes of 
Transformers over here, there's something 
cool about mechanical behemoths 
stomping all over the place. . . particularly if 
they're decked out with enough weapons 
to flatten a small country. While watching 
them do their stuff is one thing though, the 
thought of getting to drive your own mech 
is something entirely different- mainly 
because most mech games don't even 
come close to the experience you'd get if 
such robots existed. At least, they didn't 
until Steel Battalion came along... 

Of course, being the well-informed 
gamers that you all are, you'll already 
know what Steel Battalion is all about - big 
robot suits, even bigger artillery and a 
whole lot of explosions, albeit from a 
slightly hardened and gritty Neo-Tokyo 
viewpoint rather than the typically Manga- 
esque style you might expect. Instead of 
being a basic blast-'em-up with robots in it 
though (like MechAssault, Phantom Crash 
and Robotron), it goes further into the 
simulation side than most of the games 
we've seen before. But before you run 
away because we used the 's' word, you 
should know that we're not talking about 
the kind of 'all realism, no fun' games you 
might normally associate with a sim. 

The main reason Steel Battalion falls 
between shoot-'em-up and simulation is 



because of the massive custom-made 
controller used to 'drive' the Vertical Tanks 
(or VTs) - it's so big it comes in three boxes. 
There's no joypad or mouse and keyboard 
set-up here; instead, all control is via the 
twin joysticks (one for steering, one for 
aiming), pedals (accelerate, brake and 
'boost' for dodging missiles) and around 40 
buttons and switches, which do everything 
from change weapons and activate night- 
vision to wash the windscreen of your VT. 

What's more, there's no external, chase 
or close-range views - you're the pilot of the 
VT, so that puts you firmly in the cockpit at 
all times... heck, you even have to eject 
from the VT if you take too much damage, 
unless you fancy getting killed and losing 
your whole game (save data included). It's 
this in-depth interface and level of 
atmosphere that makes the game more of a 
simulation than most mech games. 

Obviously, developing such an 
ambitious game has cost Capcom a pretty 
penny - given the lack of success that the 
Xbox has seen in Japan, it's a surprising 
move - and the fact that the package looks 
set to retail at around £120 in the UK could 
limit its popularity, regardless of how good 
the game is. But as the game's producer, 
Atsushi Inaba, says, the idea was to create 
a game like no other rather than rake in the 
cash. "The target audience for Steel 
Battalion was purely serious gamers - not 
just in Japan, but throughout the world 



and gamers who are eager to experience 
something new and different," he insists. 

We have to admit that having played 
Steel Battalion for a good few hours, it's 
totally unique; short of actually driving a 
real tank, we've never seen anything like it. 
The bottom line is that when Capcom took 
it all away, we wanted it back - the hands- 
on experience is something very special 
indeed. We doubt it'll fly off the shelves 
when it arrives (due to the hefty price tag) 
but nevertheless, this is just the kind 
of game we bought our Xbox 
consoles for in the first place. 



FORMAT: Xbox 
ORIGIN: Japan 
PUBLISHER: Capcom 
DEVELOPER: 

In-House 

RELEASE: March '03 
(Japan/US: Out Now) 
GENRE: 

Action/Simulation 
PLAYERS: 1 

■ Drive your own 
Vertical Tank through 
over 25 levels of 
mech-blasting and 
button-pushing. 



"MORE AN EXPERIENCE THAN A 
GAME, STEEL BATTALION 
REQUIRES A LEVEL OF SKILL NOT 
SEEN IN A VIDEOGAME IN AGES" 

CONTROL YOURSELF 

Regardless of its size, it's obvious that the controller for Steel 
Battalion is more than just another meaningless peripheral to 
drain you of your cash. Unlike other games that use unique 
peripherals but can be played without them - such as Dance 
Dance Revolution, Samba DeAmigo and every lightgun game 
under the sun - Steel Battalion comes with the controller as 
standard because you can't play the game without it. This in 
itself is not a bad thing, as the massive twin joystick and pedals 
combination offers a style of gameplay unseen before in a mech 
game. However, it may be a little excessive with such a high 
price tag. Good thing there's a sequel already on the way... 




games™ 079 



PREVIEW I LAMBORGHINI I XBOX/MULTIFORMAT 




WE CANT AFFORD ONE, YOU CANT AFFORD ONE BUT, HEY, LET'S ALL RACE THEM ANYWAY. 



IE 




Remember how in loads of old beat- 
'em-ups, CPU characters would be 
absolutely terrible at first before becoming 
crazily good just when it mattered? We can 

only assume this is what has happened to 
Rage of late. Sure, it's never been truly 
awful, but titles like David Beckham Soccer 
weren't going to establish it as a world- 
class developer, and Denki Blocks hinted at 
greatness but was commercially 
unsuccessful. But late last year, Rage found 
form with the excellent Rocky. Unwilling to 
let this momentum slip, its latest title 
should be even more impressive than 
2002's boxing extravaganza. An enormous 
license like Lamborghini is obviously a 
huge bonus, but we've seen enough poor 
games come from huge licences to leave 
us somewhat wary. 

After just a few minutes of play, 
however, our fears were proved 
unfounded - Lamborghini looks (and, 
more importantly, plays) every bit as good 
as it should. From the shimmering cars to 
the track effects, even at this early stage 
there's little we can fault in terms of visuals. 
Given the extra development time, the 
versions that follow should also push the 
relevant hardware to a similar extent. In 
fact, we really can't wait to try the PS2 and 
GameCube versions - it's about time the 
PS2 had a potential Gran Turismo-beater 
and the GameCube is still lacking a truly 
great racer. It's not just a great-looking 



■ Take your hard-earned wealth to the extravagant 
showroom and splash out on a new set of wheels. 



game, though. It's rare to find a realistic 
racer with both decent handling and a real 
sense of speed but Rage looks to be adding 
the finishing touches to do just that. 

There are numerous modes of play, 
many of which will be familiar to fans of the 
Dreamcast's seminal Metropolis Street 
Racer and its Xbox sequel. It would be all 
too easy to point the finger and scream 
about stolen elements but the truth is that 
there's only so much you can do with 
driving cars around circuits. As such, modes 
like Overtake Challenge, Perfect Lap and 
Time Attack work perfectly well in their own 
right without so much as a whiff of Kudos in 
the air. Many of these modes are part of the 
game's huge Championship mode - each 
of the 25 real cars has several different 
challenges to complete to earn extra cash 
and trophies for your expansive garage. 
You'll be surprised how quickly this will fill 
up with cars, trophies, cups and awards 
once you perfect the first couple of tracks. 

Visiting real locations such as Las Vegas 
and the Black Forest, Lamborghini Will 
really put your racing skills to the test 
around a variety of courses in each area. Of 
course, it wouldn't be a racing game 
without some kind of 'mirror mode' so all 
the courses become playable in either 
direction as your career progresses. 

From what we've seen, it's hard to fault 
Lamborghini. Originality is the only area 
we could highlight, but even so, it's often a 



case of producing either a realistic racer or 
an original one - the two seldom work 
together. Here though, there are some nice 
fresh touches being implemented 
alongside a lot of established elements. 
Hopefully, Lamborghini could 'do a Halo' 
and bring together the best bits of a tried 
and tested genre in one sublime package. 
It'll no doubt come under fire from 
TL/r/smoholics who'll slam the amount and 
variety of cars on offer, but what's there is 
more than enough to keep us going for a 
while. And besides, when Lamborghini 
itself only exports 400 vehicles a 
year, how many different cars can 
you expect? 



FORMAT: Xbox/PS2/ 
GameCube 
ORIGIN: UK 
PUBLISHER:Rage 
DEVELOPER: 
In-House 
RELEASE: TBC 
GENRE: Racing 
PLAYERS: 1-4(1 -TBC 
via Xbox Live) 

■ A stunning 
officially licensed 
racer. Already 
looking good and 
playing well, we'll 
be keeping an eye 
on this one... 



SHOW ME THE MONEY 

Money, cash, dosh... call it what you will, but cold 
hard currency is at the heart of the game's 
Championship mode. Starting out woefully out of 
pocket (in terms of what you'll need, at least), you'll 
need to win races and complete challenges in order 
to increase your funds. You'll have to shell out for 
repairs and resprays if your beautiful vehicle should 
get damaged, and fixing these bad boys doesn't 
come cheap. In addition to your legitimate 
earnings, you can also issue challenges to (and 
receive them from) your competitors. Most of these 
will be high stakes cash races but occasionally your 
challenger will be so confident as to put his or her 
car on the line in a Pink Slip race. Either way, with 
so much at stake you'll really want to consider 
course, conditions and competition before you 
agree to such a risky challenge. 




080 games™ 



LAMBORGHINI 



XBOX/IVI U LTI FORM AT 





DEVELOPER PROFILE 



■ Based in Liverpool, Rage has developed and published countless titles across various formats since its 
foundation in 1992. It has produced several games based on strong licences - with names like David Beckham 
Soccer and Rocky already under its belt, Lamborghini should fit nicely into the Rage portfolio. 



HISTORY 

■ ROCKY 2002 [Multiformat] 

■ WILD WILD RACING 2000 [PlayStation2] 
DEAD BALL ZONE 1998 [PSone] 




games™ 081 




PREVIEW I LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER: THE ANGEL OF DARKNESS I PS2/MULTI FORMAT 



TOMB RAIDER: 



THE ANGEL OF DARKNESS 



AFTER MORE THAN FIVE 
YEARS IN THE PUBLIC EYE, 
LARA GETS A FACELIFT 



H"A new Lara Croft for a new 
generation" - that's how Eidos is 
flagging the latest Tomb Raider game. And 
judging by the enormous list of new 
features, gameplay additions and graphical 
updates, it would seem that this is indeed 
a new Lara Croft. Of course, the big 
question is whether fans of the original 
games really want something new. For us, 
the series seemed to lose a little of its 
potency after the first game and we really 
feel that the designers need to analyse the 
original game and identify the specific 
elements that made Tomb Raider great in 
the first place. 

The experience of roughing it out in the 
elements seemed somewhat watered- 
down once Lara's adventures started 
leading her through city streets and over 
rooftops, instead of through twisted tunnels 
and forgotten tombs. On top of that, much 
of the elegance that had been so integral to 
the first game seemed to vanish once the 
cave-dwelling bears and wolves were 
replaced by terrorists with guns. Sadly, it 
seems that the decidedly sterile 
environments from the later games are just 
what the creators of Angel Of Darkness 
have used here. Just like Metal Gear's Solid 
Snake, Lara can use her fists, peer around 
corners and even grab enemies around the 
neck, but even at this late stage in 
development, it isn't clear how integral 
these features will be in the final product. 




One thing is certain though - this is 
currently looking much more Metal Gear 
than Tomb Raider. 

Another major change evident in the 
preview code is the camera which, as in 
Resident Evil, now stays fixed at certain 
points, presumably to make things a little 
more dramatic. The digital control issues 
made famous by the original games have 
also been addressed but, thanks to the new 
camera system, movement feels almost as 
awkward as it always did. 

The fact that Eidos and Core are being so 
secretive about Angel Of Darkness so close 
to its release is worrying. The Tomb Raider 
franchise is huge all around the world and, 



with the future of the series relying on the 
quality of this title, Core has got an 
enormous task on its hands. Following 
initially underwhelming responses to an 
early version last year, the game was 
delayed for three months to give the 
designers a little extra time to make the 
necessary adjustments, indicating that the 
criticisms were taken on board. Will this be 
long enough to improve the game? 
Find out next month. 



FORMAT: PS2, PC 
ORIGIN: UK 
PUBLISHER: Eidos 
DEVELOPER: Core 
RELEASE: Feb 03 
(Japan:TBA/US:Feb'03) 
GENRE: Platform 
PLAYERS: 1 

■ Lara's back with 
stealth, RPG and 
combat elements. 



THIS IS CURRENTLY LOOKING 

MUCH MORE METAL GEAR 

THAN TOMB RAIDER" 




082 games™ 



PREVIEW ROUND-UP 




WHAT'S IN STORE FOR THE COMING MONTHS? WE'RE GLAD YOU ASKED. . . 



DEFJAM 
VENDETTA 



KINGDOM 
UNDER FIRE 



CAPCOMVS 
SNK2:EOLIVE 



WORLD RACING 



MOMMA SAID KNOCK 


ONCE MORE UNTO THE 


FANCY A BIT OF LONG- 


AROUND THE WORLD IN 


YOUR OPPONENT OUT 


BREACH, DEAR FRIENDS 


DISTANCE SCRAPPING? 


LOADS OF CARS 


Format: PS2/GameCube 


Format: PC/Xbox 


Format: Xbox 


Format: Xbox 


Origin: US 


Origin: US 


Origin: US 


Origin: Germany 


Publisher: Electronic Arts 


Publisher: Phantagram 


Publisher: Capcom 


Publisher: TDK Mediactive 


Developer: E A Sports BIG 


Developer: In-House 


Developer: In-House 


Developer: In-House 


Release: Q1 03 


Release: May '03 


Release: 7 March '03 


Release: February '03 


Genre: Sports 


Genre: RTS 


Genre: Beat-'em-up 


Genre: Racing 


Players: 1-4 


Players: 1 


Players: 1-2 


Players: 1-2 




When it comes to wrestling 
games they've been a bit hit and 
miss in the past, but the ones we 
remember most fondly are those 
developed for the N64 by a 
Japanese firm called Aki - mostly 
because they were damn good 
fun to play. Now Aki has teamed 
up with the folks at EA Sports BIG 
to create DefJam Vendetta, a hip- 
hop style underground fighting 
game with wrestling elements, 
featuring the stars of the Def Jam 
record label. Promising to have all 
of the OTT style last seen in NBA 
Street, this looks like it'll be a blast 
of a game... even if you are one of 
those people who thinks 
wrestling's crap. Are you going to 
argue with these guys? 



Remember the start of Gladiator 
when Maximus and his Roman 
troops beat the living daylights 
out of all those hairy brutes? 
Impressive, wasn't it? Well, you 
might be interested to hear that 
there's now a game on the way 
that allows you to re-enact 
countless battles just like it - all in 
real time and with up to 450 
characters scrapping on screen at 
any one time. Kingdom Under Fire 
casts you as a fearless leader with 
literally hundreds of troops at your 
command and the opportunity to 
slaughter evil hordes left, right and 
centre. Nice. Whether it'll live up to 
our expectations remains to be 
seen, but hopefully we'll have a 
full preview next month. 





As we reported last issue, Capcom 
has finally managed to achieve the 
impossible (at least in Europe) - an 
online beat-'em-up. Okay, so 
maybe the fact that it's a beat-'em- 
up we've seen several times over 
already (on the Dreamcast, PS2 
and GameCube) might make the 
whole thing a tad anti-climactic but 
nevertheless, we're more than a 
little excited about the thought of 
kicking people's arses over long- 
distance. Capcom VSSNK2:EO 
Live is easily the best StreetFig Inter- 
state game around at the moment 
(in our eyes, at least), so there's no 
doubt that adding online options 
will only enhance the playing 
experience even more. We'll have a 
full review for you next issue. 



While racing games are a dime a 
dozen at the moment, there are 
very few that bridge the gap 
between arcade and simulation 
with any real success. World 
Racing is the latest game to try 
where others have failed and, from 
what we've seen so far, it seems to 
do quite well. You can change how 
realistic or arcade-styled the game 
is via a slider, while the tracks are 
interesting enough to keep up the 
pace whichever setting you're 
using. Featuring more Mercedes 
cars than the whole of Jersey, this 
Xbox exclusive title could be the 
Gran Turismo that Microsoft needs 
to beat Sony at its own game. We'll 
give you a verdict in next month's 
in-depth review. 




084 games™ 




CANNED - RALLY FUSION (GAMECUBE) 

■ Those of you hoping to experience the joys of Activision's new 
racing game on the GameCube may be disappointed to hear it's 
been cancelled. And without any reason being given, no less. Bah. 




DELAYED - panzer dragoon orta (xbox) 

■ It should have been out now, but SEGA's much-awaited dragony shoot- 
'em-up has been delayed until late March. Looks like we'll have to keep 
playing it on our Saturns for just a little longer. . . 



ENTER THE 
MATRIX 



UNREAL 2: THE 
AWAKENING 



RACING 
EVOLUZIONE 



PORT ROYALE 



BLUE PILL, RED PILL... IT'S 
ALL THE SAME TO US 



WAKE UP AND SMELL THE 
HEAVY ARTILLERY 



IT'S ITALIAN FOR 'EVOLUTION' 
(OR SO WE'RE TOLD) 



SO WHAT DO THEY CALL A 
WHOPPER THEN? 



Format: 


PS2/Xbox/GameCube/PC 


Format: PC 


Format: 


Xbox 


Origin: 


US 


Origin: US 


Origin: 


Italy 


Publisher: 


Infogrames 


Publisher: Infogrames 


Publisher: 


Infogrames 


Developer: 


Shiny Entertainment 


Developer: Legend Entertainment 


Developer: 


Milestone 


Release: 


May '03 


Release: Q1 '03 


Release: 


February '03 


Genre: 


Action/Adventure 


Genre: FPS 


Genre: 


Racing 


Players: 


1 


Players: 1 


Players: 


1-2 



Format: 


PC 


Origin: 


US 


Publisher: 


Big Ben Interactive 


Developer: 


Ascaron 


Release: 


March '03 


Genre: 


RTS 


Players: 


1-8 




There might not be a spoon, but 
there is a game based on the 
upcoming Matrix movie sequels - 
and it's only a few months away. 

Running alongside the storyline of 
the trilogy rather than following it, 
Enter The Matrix offers a selection 
of Matrix characters to play as 
(including good old Morpheus, but 
not Neo) and has you running up 
walls and blasting Agents all over 
the shop -just as you'd expect. 
Featuring voice acting from the 
film's actors, some top-notch 
motion capture and more bullet- 
time effects than you'll be able to 
deal with, it looks quite nice. Until 
we actually get a chance to play it 
though, we won't hold our breath 
for anything truly groundbreaking. 



If the only experience you've had 
of the Unreal universe is through 
Unreal Tournament, you've 
missed out on a lot - before that, 
there was the game that started it 
all. Having been absolutely aeons 
in development, Infogrames is 
nearly ready to release Unreal 2, a 
story-driven FPS game set across 
ten unique worlds and featuring a 
wide range of both familiar and all- 
new weaponry. It's certainly an 
anticipated title but, from the looks 
of things, you'll need an absolute 
beast of a PC to get it running 
properly. However, if you've got 
the goods, then Unreal 2 could be 
exactly the blast-'em-up you're 
looking for. More tooled-up 
information next month. 





Forget everything you know about 
realistic racing games - Infogrames 
is hoping to redefine the genre as 
we know it with Racing 
Evoluzione, an in-depth driving 
simulation that goes over and 
above anything Gran Turismo has 
ever done. Rather than simply 
driving, Racing Evoluzione puts you 
in charge of your own brand of 
cars -you start with a small garage 
but winning races will help you 
expand your business and 
ultimately become a dominant 
force in the car industry. It sounds 
interesting, although we've yet to 
see how revolutionary the whole 
thing will be compared to Sony's 
past efforts. Look for a complete 
review next issue. 



Of all the things we wanted to be 
when we were younger, the head 
of a successful shipping trading 
empire wasn't one of them - but 
we'll give it a go anyhow and Port 
Royale offers us just such an 
opportunity. Set in the 17th 
Century, you have the chance to 
explore any of the 60 towns 
available and trade goods to your 
heart's content. Of course, you're 
not alone and will have to deal with 
pirates and other traders along the 
way - think Elite set on a boat and 
you're pretty much there. With the 
option to link up over a LAN for 
multiplayer boating shenanigans 
too, Port Royale could be just the 
game for all you seafaring PC 
owners out there. 




games™ 085 



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The scene: Just outside Woollies. A 
group of pale, scruffy-looking 
videogame journalists stand alongside 
a smartly dressed man brandishing the 
one thing that those journos covet 
most of all - a credit card. "All right, lads," he says, "I 
know the game's shit, do you want any CDs?" 
Though games™ is not at liberty to reveal the 
identities of those present, it can disclose that it was a 
long time ago and that the company that the smartly 
dressed man was representing is no more. 

Those of you who are shocked at the fact that such 
an incident ever happened in the first place might well 
be naive enough to believe that every word of every 
review of a videogame that has ever been written 
represents the objective thoughts of the reviewer 
without any other influence whatsoever. Unfortunately, 
this almost certainly isn't the case, and if this 
depressing scene is indicative of the time, perhaps a 
good many of those reviews that were written were 
done so, shall we say, 'under the influence'. 

Moving forward from those heady and exciting 
days of the Spectrum, Commodore and Amstrad and 
into those of the Xbox, GameCube and PS2, it is clear 
that things are very different. Publishing videogames 
magazines, and indeed the games industry itself, is a 
much more professional business than in years gone 
by - cheap bribes are hardly going to cut the mustard 
with today's degree-laden and, dare we say it, more 
sophisticated games hacks who have entered 
videogame magazine publishing almost certainly 
as gamers but also, in many cases, fully- 
qualified journalists. 

As befitting the gaming world's transition 
from cottage industry to multi-million pound 
market, the PR manager has, games™ is 
pleased to say, matured to reflect those changes. 
Where unscrupulous PR types may once have had to 
rely upon the poorly-paid journos' status to tempt 

them with bounty they might not otherwise be 
able to afford, the PR manager now has 
more subtle, but no less effective, means at 
his or her disposal. 

In celebration of this, games™ takes a 
look at the world of the PR manager. 



_fc 



D> 



089 



G 
SO, 




Case 1 

NAME: ALEX VERREY 

JOB DESCRIPTION: PR And Communications Manager, JOY I tun 

Key product for 2003: Williams F1 Team Racing Wheel 

How did vou get into PR? . 

(and still do) as a presenter. In, probably best known as the character B.g Boy 
BarryfromSk/sCamesWbrirfshow.Havingpresentedmorehoursot 

Sling TV than anyone in the cumry. I'm pleased to say that 1 m fairly 
wSLinfteindus^andhavemadea.o.o.friendso^rftoyears.W 

ECTS a couple of years ago. one of my buddies, MD of top peripheral 
company JOYTECH. mentioned that they were looking fur someone to do 

some part-time PR work for them, h suited me as I could split my time 
between TV and JOYTECH and the rest as they say, is history. 

Blair to discuss the far-reaching, national economic implications of our new 

mini.., As were based in Windsor. I then join Her Majes* me Queen for 
aspot of tiffin, before boarding the JOYTECH helicopter forarooftop meeting 

Wl VOU!!** "P ^d start work around nine-ish. Spend the murning replying 
,. numerousemailsfrom magazines, newspaper ■"*«**?»£. 
related guys and girls, all lucking tu feature or review JOYTECH s gear. Spend 

work on promoting JOYTECH peripherals, and making sure eveiyone has all 
the samples, images, information and press releasesthey need. 

T^eLmoon will typically be spent working internally, providing sales 
with PR related reports, proof-reading packaging or instruction manuals. 
wlgpressreleLs^product-.esrings.medourla.es.gear.orcom.ngup 

with creative text for future releases.To be honest, my work is so varied a 
ToYTECH. it really is a different job evcy day. I simply couldn t imagine it any 
other way and it certainly stops me from getting bered. . . 
How important are good reviews of your products in the 




specialist press? Have 

there been times when 

the coverage you 

received had a strong 

impact on one of 

your titles? 

Good reviews in the specialist 

press are of paramount 

impurtance. Although we like te 

believe we appeal to the masses, our first and prime 

audience are usually the devoted gamers who will generally turn te their 

favourite videugame magazine for a reliable review. A good review in a 

well-known, popular videogame magazine will usually see interest in the 
peripheral jump greatly, and thus lead tu increased sales. 

Are other media such as newspapers and television 
important to your campaigns? Have they become more 

imnortant than the specialist press? 

We hy to maximize publicity for JOYTECH, and thus are obviously eagerto 

receive as much publicity as possible. The specialist press often has the 
Inxury of hitting a mass audience veiy quickly. We also en,o» coverage in 
magazines such as toadadhowever, which will generally sell many more 

copies than an average videogame mag. We've also featured on TV nd in 
newspapers such as Tfte Sun, which again reach millions instead of 
thousands. However, there is often a downside in that the ceverage will 
typically be much lighter and less informative than the coverage received in 
ft. specialist press, ffs sad to say that there is also a risk of incorrect or 

knowledgeable about videogames as members of the specialist press. 
Whafs the most challenging part of your job? 
My job is thankfully varied, so I face new challenges on a daily basis. The 
easiest but must buring answer would be tufind new and ^ewaystu 
promote peripherals, which are ve^ often nm considered me as. m^rd as 
software Iguess the real, yet totally egotistical, answer would be to keep my 
mindfocusedonadozen jobs at once, and attempt to make evenrone happy 

all of the time. 




Miytuded^MediO/ 




N> Interestingly, all of our masters of spin 
agreed, at least in part, that the non- 
specialist press was of great importance 
when marketing a product. Though specialist 
magazines such as games™ will always play 
a part in promoting videogames, it is obvious 
that newspapers that reach a much larger 
audience are rapidly becoming a very 
important tool to aid the PR manager's job, 
as Infogrames PR manager, Simon 
Callaghan explains: 

"Non-specialist media is important and is 
gradually becoming more so simply because 
you are reaching a different audience outside 
of the specialist press, and it is a way of 
expanding the potential audience of 
your games". 

Also noteworthy is the fact that 
increasingly games that would otherwise be 
less favourably viewed by games mags seem 
to receive glowing reviews and scores as this 



"..Jjoitv Her Majesty the, Qmewfor 

a/Spotofixjjuiy, before, boarding tke< 
JOYTECH heUcopiBY -jfbr & rooftop 
meeting unifvgaHi£^ rM ..." 



example of a review 
of Acclaim's 
controversial 'sports' 
title, BMXXXX 
illustrates: 

"This is every Kevin The Teenager's 
dream. A BMX-riding game which slavishly 
follows the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater blueprint, 
it self-consciously tries to be outrageous. 

"Like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, you are 
allocated missions by characters in the game. 
For example, you might find yourself having 
to ferry prostitutes around on the back of 
your bike, or enduring flaccid jokes about 
impotence while helping a fireman re- 
establish his water supply. 

"Virtual strippers present the game's 
rewards, which will either irritate or delight 
you depending on your age. Play-wise, it is 
pretty decent, although derivative: it lacks the 
silky responsiveness of Tony Hawk's Prb 



Skater 4, and the graphics, at least on the PS2 
version, are a bit ropey. 

"But it sustains a decent repertoire of tricks 
and the levels are large, well-designed and 
pleasingly crammed with detail touches. One 
of those games which is quite fun to play 
until someone catches you at it." 

While we wouldn't begrudge the Daily 
Mirror's right to an opinion, you have to 
wonder how the reviewer managed to give 
this a four-star rating. However, with millions 
of people who would otherwise probably 
never read a videogames magazine 
assuming that the verdict is accurate, we can 
see why non-specialist press reviews are 
increasingly important in the world of PR. 



> 



I* 





NAME: SIMON CALLAGHAN 

JOB DESCRIPTION: read of UK PR i„f 

^*W£K55T" 

Describe your typfca, tfay. 

check my voi re IZr ri L P,aril ' U,19entNe)rt '« 

How much pressure is there to ™* 

your products in th- - 9et cov erage of 

*e Mb preLn^err^, 900 ' reVieWSCOresi " 

ssss> n,u **»«- •—« 



been times when t£ co^t PTO!S? HaVe *» 
a^ngim^^^Vo-eceivedHa, 

Position y.„ rgame ™^ h ' s ^^ importaMto 
»ey a rei „c redib , ys ^™7 r ;* em,nd •'•he consumer, as 
«™esouttf,e re . Ell?' 06 "* tem,s « «* "nmbero, 

cverageofaga^r,, I SeTr^" * 6 
nowhere has created » ™ j 9 0r has come «* of 

c.ns„n,e rem :;Tl a S^ e,,<rfinte -«'"«"e minds., 
become a major h„ £ 1- Sf. T and nas 9»ne on to 
^"gstomindaloLI'n ^'° n PSaaa Mediately 

-«—jr fiSKr a,s ° 1 be,me 

name any. *«"npies. I m far too polite to 

Have ESS^ ^"l " *» Vour ca mpai9ns? 
specialist pres^T ' mPO,tant than *e 

aine re n.Ldie™eo2-^ aUSeyOUarereacn, ' n 9e 



ifeCOtUcfSpH, 



ffl ! Speak: This is nearly-finished code You 

eTr,y P c: a de. G ° eaSy0nthe ^w-,ssfi (( 

*an t be g,v,ng you review code but a 

decent preview rnigh, engender ol 
-meres, from your readers and theymigh, 



iustbuyit on the strength of that... 

KoT fy ° U9,Ve0ne0fm v g arnesa 
a?y a o t f t m iSaCtUa " ymeanS:YoU '—r given 

What this actually means: ,fy u don't give 

mis game a good scorp I'll Jr 

you in the future USet ° dealwith 

What thrs actually means: There's no way 
'm sending this game to you, you'l, ' 
massacre it in your review. However vou'r. 
-oret an welcome to buyacopywh°T 

gets released, at least that way weC t 
some sales. wen get 



PR Speak: I don't want you to review the 
■"Port version of the game. ^ t> 

What this actually means: I have a PAL 

exclave signed up with a rival mag and 
Voullminthatforme^hichisfair" 

Or 

The game's awful and if you 

review it from the 

US/Japanese code you'll 
kill off any chance we 
can recoup the 

extortionate 
money we paid 
for that 
potentially 
lucrative 
'icence. And 
we really don't i 
want that. 






Case 3 

NAME: PHIL ROBINSON 

JOB DESCRIPTION: PR Manager, Midway Games 

Key Titles for 2003: Defender, 

Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance 

How long have you worked in PR? 

It must be nearto five years: two years in mus.c and then 
three years to date in the games industry. 

Why did you decide to switch from music to 
videogame PR? . . 

I had always been into music and was always interested in 
p,aying drls. s. I kind ef fell into music PR from m-xmg m 
Lie circle, I had great frm learning the trade a«^pemlmg 
a hell ef a lot of good times at some great part.es. I guess alter 
a while I felt I really wanted to can* a career out for myself in 
PR and I found with the music industry that people d.dn t 
always keep their promises, so took the decision to expand 

my knowledge in other areas and knew music to be 
something I could always come back to as I had some 

9re Sen S dinBa.m.ebi,of«imeinfashion,.washavinga 

few drinks with someone at the Top OfThePopste -m* was 
iabomhow.wamedU, go backing PR andWIwas 

aiwa^very much into game, The person wufr me sa.dthatl 
would be perfect for the position that was going at M.dway 
and that I should go for an interview. The rest .sh.sto.y- here 
lam... 

How much pressure is there to get coverage of 
your products in the specialist press? 

i«hen you're working withaproduct you want to ,g*th .best 
coverage you can and it becomes a very personal th.ng and 
»ou putahellofalot of passion intoitYou wan, fo-hvand 
secure the best page count you can and also hope that .tw.ll 



do well when it comes to review, but you can only do your b.t 
and hopethatthe game is going to kick ass. They somehmes 
say you're only as good as your last game and .ts a great 
feeling when it all comes together. Front covers m your 
reception area always look good. 



How important are good prevews or reviews 
of vour products in the specialist press? Have 
there been times when the coverage you 
received had a strong impact on one of 
vour titles? 

This is a very important part of the process because you 
have to think that when your product goes to press, your 
company may be in the process of selling units into retail 
and a hell of a lot of those guys are going to be waiting to 
see the press reaction. If it isn't that great why should they 
buy big amounts of units? 

This then has a knock-on effect to you as a company, 
maybe nothitting your sales targets. I think every company 
has experienced this at some point. Sometimes you might 

be okay if the product you're working with is a very big 
licence and is already known to the public. 

How important are other media such as 
newspapers and television to your 
PR campaigns? 

Very important, as you'll be reaching a much wider 
audience and that's a very important part of your 
plan - you want whoever it be, gamer or not, to 
know that your product is out there. This sort of 
coverage would help you to maximize that. You 
have to remember that its not just the people 
who read the gaming mags that are buying 
your titles, its also the mums and dads out 
there that want to be getting the best games 
around for their kids or friends. Maximum 
impact - that's what it's all about. 




U$ 



,rT^h>. -* 



am iv**^ 



r\ One of the main reasons why PR managers 
have become such a potent force is money. 

D ut simply, anything up to and beyond 90 per 
Cv A t of all videogames that are released in 
an> ne year lose money. Publishers and 
devek N ers rely on so-called Triple-A' titles 
to not o 'y generate revenue but also to 
absorb the massive 
losses of other 
; tles released 
luring the 
year. 




"...they sometimes sayyou)re< only as good 
as your LastgaM<je> omA/ it's a, great 
feeima wheti it all comes together, front 
covers in your receptiotiyare^afumys boh good" 



As such, the success or failure of a 
publishing house or developer can rest 
heavily upon the ability of a PR manager, 
along with some deft marketing, to ensure 
that all of its titles get the kind of coverage 
that will sell its games to the largest number 
of people. Failure to do so can create 
potentially catastrophic results. As this table 
shows, developers simply have to shift large 
numbers of games to make a reasonable 
return on their games. 

For t k -> self-funded developer, only by 
hav ; x}a hit can they hope to make any 

Developers who receive a cash 
advance have got money in the 
ady, whereas self-funded 
are out of pocket as soon as 



the development process begins. 

As a consequence, it is vital that a PR 
manager simply has to do his or her job to try 
to ensure that the largest number of people 
are made aware of a title in the hope of 
getting those sales... 



Game funding 


After £1,200,000 advance 


Self-funded 


Ave. wholesale price 


£13 


£13 


Royalty % 


25% 


35% 


Royalty £ 
Unit sales 


£3.25/unit 

Receipts 
to developer 


£4.55/unit 

Receipts 
to developer 


50,000 (low) 


nil 


£227,500 


150,000 (medium) 


nil 


£682,500 


350,000 (high) 


nil 


£1,592,500 



1,000,000 (super high) £2,050,000 





£4,550,000 




Case 4 

N£ME: JE N N , E((0NG 
JOB DESCRIPTION- p fill . 

technology at uniand took 

u . 



! 



/ 



SKspaassSr 

in *• *•» of 3K 3 " " a, * , ' are «^J2S, ^ " ed ' Wante « 

P"»feher.SCEE™ ?^^^ 

tomsel '» '" Careal ""*<heE U ronea„™ ^?* e ^ da nd innovative 

^^^Wdee^an.esAaT::^^' 



Big business is the spin. So much so th« 

that cost £2 miffion to de Vel opl ha " 9ameS 

^^onspenton^ohaSZ- ^TnT 

a Publisher's glm" ^^ aWar6fless ° f 

Those, Not About TU*ok 

T ^°Mon was an important game for 

Those ciever b^3dfa t aIL h3t W ° Uldn,t be enou ^. 
doos at Acclaim came up with all 

manner of clever ways to 
introduce the Fireseed to 
D S2 and Xbox owners - 
, and, to be fair, even 
we were 



negotiation sM Hs b ™ !"*"" nee * »» have srea t mm 
ab »»»i*aina7ee^ 

—« «> he hachoT^r 688 ° f * he -* ' •nmJT'?"***'" 
creativity bein„7 effic 'ency, p/ annino „,;"!, "" s obviously 

How imnA^ ^ a V ' 



How" " M<,,,J »--/itera/ly. 

Vour m*,? V °» ~**l had a ^£"*"" **« 
'*"**eciali s t meolaarp . 9 "*-* on on. «, 

»' n-owh *lr " ,te "' ,ay * e fo-nd Jo^ "* ^ pre "^ 

snpport from ga „; es mal ■ W8S such a massive tftte »„,. 

e ««tenaho«„rfer aneSdUrin9dwa '»Pn.e« 

naming on ij£ * ^«* **^K^£^ 

M °w important areot . 
""inkspeoia/S * 6 ^'^ •"— ? * beC ° me m °« 

<* W '«nn indnsfry ft fel, Ashing fta s ft, 

meaa * a 'videoga^XT' ,OPe ' ,,%ftM ' i « 
an nnee n /o K edhvg 1 > (s fe m P | USnOMe, ' e n further 
SnneraHon one da ' y 9 '" $ ' mn "«<* and fte older 







ATo« a o ; hOWfarthey - re P-Paredto g o 

w f ou r therrs:;* adto 

s S ™» ^tter of the hugeamo unto 
press coverage that pushed Turok 
Evolution into the public's 

consciousness was but a happy 

coincidence (yeah, right). 

The fact remains that after a 

gargantuan push for what 
was arguably a lacklustre 
game, sales of Turok 
Evolution were mightily 
impressive. Well done Acclaim. 



# ** 




INTRODUCTION I REVIEWS 



REVIEWS 



Metroid Prime 


96 


GameCube 


House Of The Dead 3 


100 


Xbox (Arcade) 


The Getaway 


102 


PlayStation2 


Sim City 4 


104 


PC 


Dead To Rights 


106 


Xbox (GC, PlayStation2) 


Metroid Fusion 


108 


Game Boy Advance 


Mario Party 4 


110 


GameCube 


Bubble Bobble: Old And New 


111 


Game Boy Advance 


Shinobi 


112 


PlayStation2 


Phantasy Star Online: 
Episode 1 & II 


114 


GameCube 


The Sims 


116 


PlayStation2 (PC) 


Auto Modellista 


118 


PlayStation2 


Battle Engine Aquila 


119 


Xbox (PlayStation2) 


Ikaruga 


120 


GameCube (Dreamcast) 


Ape Escape 2 


122 


PlayStation2 


ToeJam & Earl III: 
Mission To Earth 


123 


Xbox 


Zelda: Link To The Past 


124 


Game Boy Advance 


Sly Cooper And The 
Thievius Raccoonus 


126 


PlayStation2 


Star Wars: Bounty Hunter 


127 


PlayStation2 (GameCube) 



THE AVERAGE 

Despite representing an industry in which high scores 

mean everything, games™ is not a magazine that marks 

with the majority. A lot of people think that anything 

below 7 (7.0, 70%, whatever) is a bad score - we don't. 

Going on a scale of one to ten, five is the average - 

average being a game that does what it sets out to do 

without attempting to do it better than anyone else. If a 

game gets five, you'll get some enjoyment out of it but 

nothing more, simple as that. What's more, we won't be 

swayed by PR people telling us what a game's like - we 

only decide once we've played each game to death and, 

in the majority of cases, to completion. If a game's bad, 

we'll make sure you know; if it's great, we'll sing its 

praises. At the end of the day, we're just here to help you 

decide what's worth your hard-earned cash. After all, if it 

wasn't for you, we'd be out of a job. 



games™ 095 



REVIEW I METROID PRIME I GAMECUBE 






mttrmti F'riftia 



■ See? See? This flying nasty is "genetically enhanced" -that's what'll 
happen to GM tomatoes if you don't watch them. 














■ *^S 





















I "4.8 trillion teratons"? That's got to be made up. Might as well be 'a 
trentfillion gigamoths' or something. 



- 






I Some of the Space Pirates you'll encounter have learnt how to 
cloak themselves. Luckily, Samus's rather tasty Thermal Visor 
makes them stand out like a sore thumb. 



■ Mechanoid bird-cum- 

scorpion things are 

probably best when 

they're dead. So start 

shooting, soldier... 



.*- 



I We did warn you - some 
of the bosses are 
absolutely huge and 
incredibly ugly. This bloke 
spilt your pint and looked 
at you funny - you gonna 
take him outside, or what? 



« FUSED 



EXPLORATION: True to 

you can explore some ab 

VIEWPOINT: The new f.i 



n viewpoint of 



096 games 



,f presenting the worl 





--*. mmr- -^*" 1 


+ **r*) 




^ .- 


■> 9< r 


/—w 


*• * 


*• 



**^* 





THE BEST GAMECUBE GAME SO FAR. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? 

METROID PRIME 




he times, they are a-changing - and 
they're changing a lot quicker than 
some people might think. If, for 

example, you'd told us a couple of 
years ago that Nintendo was planning to farm out 
development of some of its most prized franchises 
to other companies, we'd have given you a swift 
clip round the ear and laughed you out of the 
building. Still, this was when the Nintendo we all 
knew and loved was a company that stood by its 
belief that cartridge technology was still the way 
forward for videogames. It was when Nintendo 
kept virtually all of its development under wraps 
and refused to let members of the gaming press, 
let alone the public, see unfinished versions of 
games. Most importantly though, it was when 
Nintendo was a company that defiantly stood by 
its family-styled values and balked at releasing 
games that didn't fit in with their ethos. But now 
we find ourselves with a relatively new Nintendo - 
with a high-powered CD-based console under its 
wing, a wide selection of mature titles to be proud 
of and the recent release of demo discs in Japan, 
the firm has come a long way. Considering all this 
progress has come about in little over two years 
though, the thought of a top-notch Nintendo title 
being developed by someone other than Nintendo 
itself doesn't that far-fetched after all. 



Of course, when Metroid Prime was first 

(announced back in August 2000, there was a 

mixture of jubilation and concern. On the one 
hand, everyone was pleased that Sam us was 
making a welcome return to a Nintendo console; 
on the other, the thought of a second-party firm 
making a prized Nintendo game was worrying. 
Then the first screenshots appeared on the internet 
and it all started to fall apart - eyebrows were 
raised, foreheads were furrowed and various other 
body parts showed concern in ways only they 
knew how, as we all saw something that looked 
distinctly un-Nintendo. Yes, we were worried - 
especially after seeing video footage of the game 
at E3 2001 that looked so bad. We wondered what 
on earth Nintendo was playing at. Needless to say, 
our concerns never really left us despite having 
had several chances to see how far Metroid Prime 
had come - in fact, it wasn't until we sat down with 
our own copy of the game that we 'got it'. 

You see, Metroid Prime isn't a great game; it's 

lone of the best games we've played in a very, 

very long time. Certainly, the use of a first-person 
viewpoint may discourage a lot of hard-core 
Metroid fans by making them think that the game 
won't have the feel of previous efforts. Conversely, 
FPS fans may be put off by the whole adventure 



Bj 



HF^ 



FORMAT REVIEWED 

GameCube 
ORIGIN 
US 
PUBLISHER 

Nintendo 
DEVELOPER 

Retro Studios 
PRICE 
£39.99 
RELEASE 

March '03 
(US: Out Now) 

PLAYERS 

1 




SUPER METROID 



D> 



games™ 097 



REVIEW I METROID PRIME 



TIMELINE HIGHLIGHTS 



THE BEST BITS IN THE GAME AND WHEN YOU 
CAN EXPECT TO SEE THEM... 
















O The opening 
training section 
allows you to explore 
a derelict space 
cruiser and get to 
grips with the 
controls, while 
realising that Metroid 
Prime is great. 








O Some steady 
progress sees you 
passing through the 
Chozo Ruins and 
reaching the frozen 
wastes of Phenandra, 
while realising that 
Metroid Prime is 
really incredible. 





HI 


O After tracking 
down the ancient 
artefacts of the 
Chozo, you'll be 
facing off with 
Ridley... while 
realising that Metroid 
Prime is the best GC 
game, period. 





KEEPING IT OLD-SCHOOL 

If you're a major Metroid fan, no doubt you'll 
already have Metroid Fusion too - the top- 
notch GBA game (see page 108). In typical 
Nintendo style, having both games opens up 
some gameplay bonuses: link the games via 
the GBA/GC Link Cable and you can transfer 
data to unlock some tasty extras. Completing 
Metroid Prime and then connecting Metroid 
Fusion lets you upload Samus's Fusion suit 
into the GameCube game. However, finishing 
Metroid Fusion and linking it to Metroid 
Prime unlocks the best extra of all - a full 
version of the original NES Metroid. 



'NOT SURPRISINGLY, 
METROID PRIME'S PLOT 
FEATURES MORE THAN 
ENOUGH FAMILIAR 
ELEMENTS TO KEEP 
FANS HAPPY" 



[> side of it all. The important thing to know 
about Metroid Prime though is that it's not a true 
first-person shoot-'em-up game; if you bring that 
thought to the table, you're going to come away 
sorely disappointed. But anyone who's 
expecting something totally fresh and unique 
from the Metroid style of gameplay is in for a real 
treat indeed. 

Much like Super Metroid on the SNES, 

I I Metroid Prime breaks you in nice and gently 

by introducing the basics of the game in a small 
prologue section; in this case, aboard a derelict 
space cruiser. It's this section that's crucial when it 
comes to getting to grips with the controls. 
Strangely, Metroid Prime's control system is the 
thing that has attracted the most criticism - the 
lack of dual control used by games like 
TimeSplitters 2 and the fact that the control set-up 
isn't changeable has certainly annoyed a few 
gamers. These gripes all focus on the fact that 
Metroid Prime doesn't play like a first-person 
shoot-'em-up - mainly because it isn't one. 
Certainly, the first-person perspective and 
constant gunplay might give the impression that 
it's an FPS, but that's where the similarities end. 
What Metroid Prime does instead is graft the 
well-established Metroid formula of in-depth 
exploration and extensive platform jumping onto 
a first-person shoot-'em-up, creating a totally 
new experience in the process rather than just 
another FPS. 

As with its 2D cousins, the focus here is on 
I I exploration, as well as plenty of puzzle solving 



and acquiring power-ups that allow you to 
progress into unexplored areas -the shooting of 
enemies, just like in other Metroid games, is 
entirely secondary. What's surprising is just how 
well the platform-based gameplay actually works 
when brought into a 3D environment. Having 
experienced games like Turok that tried to 
introduce platform-jumping elements but failed 
miserably, you might think that the style just isn't 
suited to the first-person genre. In Metroid Prime 
though, it's clear that the level design has been 
created specifically with the platform/adventure 
genre in mind. Even the dramatic boss fights that 
popped up on a regular basis in the old games 
transcribe well into 3D - in fact, the new first- 
person viewpoint makes the sheer size of each 
boss even more apparent. It's a formula that 
works absolutely perfectly, despite sounding like 
a recipe for disaster. 

Not surprisingly, Metroid Prime's plot features 

I more than enough familiar elements to keep 

fans happy, while not being so intimidating as to 
keep people new to the Metroid universe at bay. 
Yes, those dastardly Space Pirates are back again 
and up to no good - this time, they've discovered 
a rare source of radioactive material that can be 
used to mutate harmless creatures into mindless 
killers. Yes, the Metroids are still being used as 
test subjects, although that doesn't make them 
any more friendly. And yes, only Samus can save 
the day and stop the Space Pirates from creating 
the ultimate attack force. Metroid Prime's plot is 
far more integral to the gameplay than in 
previous outings such as Super Metroid. Each 



098 games 




I The Chozo Artefact Temple - where things start to get interesting. . . 




new area is ushered in with a genuine reason for 
you to go there, rather than simply because you've 
acquired the means to access it. However, any fears 
that this robs the game of its freeform structure can 
be allayed straight away because you can still go 
wherever you want. Metroid Prime does keep 
things moving through an integrated hint system; a 
short time after you complete an objective, the 
game will give you a brief map scan of where you 
should be going next if you're not already heading 
that way. The more hard-core explorers amongst 
you though will be pleased to hear that if you don't 
want to be told what to do, you can switch the hint 
system off and make the game feel that much 
closer to its older SNES counterpart. 

Indeed, it's probably the fact that Metroid Prime 

I does feel so much like the SNES version that we 

love it so much - as an example of the 
platform/adventure genre, Super Metroid is 
probably one of the most revered and respected 
games ever created. To that end, everything that 
you remember about Super Metroid being 
wonderful is present and correct in Metroid Prime; 
the wide range of weaponry and power-ups, the 
absolutely massive levels and the diverse puzzles 
are all here, but so are Metroid elements like the 
Morph Ball and Grappling Hook that you'd never 
expect to work in a regular first-person game. The 
magical thing is though, you don't have to be a 



1 If you need a top-up for your health and ammunition, you can always return to Samus's ship back at the landing site. 



I HAVE THE POWER 

Although Samus starts her adventure fully tooled-up, 
an explosion towards the end of the opening section 
renders much of her Power Suit useless, leaving her 
stranded on Tallon IV with virtually no abilities 
whatsoever. Fortunately, there's help at hand in the 
form of the Chozo, an ancient race of creatures who 
created Samus's suit in the first place. While the Chozo 
have been extinct for years, their technology is still 
around - although you'll have to find it to use it. It's 
scattered across Tallon IV, so finding all of it is going to 
be tricky. More often than not, you'll have to solve a 
complex puzzle or blast your way through some 
mighty big bosses before you can grab it. Then, of 
course, you'll have to work out when to use it. . . 

total Metroid enthusiast to realise that Metroid 
Prime is the best GameCube game out today. It's 
obvious from the start that the graphics and sound 
are beyond anything on the console, but it's the in- 
depth gameplay that'll have you utterly hooked. 



Despite all our praise though, we still have to 

I justify one thing: given our slightly harsh 

scoring system (something that we're aware has 
already annoyed several publishing companies), 
why is Metroid Prime worth maximum points? 
Well, it's quite simple. While no game is ever 
perfect, ten out often doesn't necessarily indicate 
that. Instead, a game that scores full marks should 
be one that not only offers an incredible gameplay 
experience, but also an experience that you can't 
find anywhere else. If you want examples you 
only have to look at Super Mario 64, Final Fantasy 
VII, Ocarina Of Time, Gran Turismo and the arcade 
version of StreetFighter 2; games that, had 
games™ been around at the time of their release, 
would all have scored ten out often simply 
because they totally revolutionised the genre they 
represented. It's this distinction that turns a great 
game into something truly special - a distinction 
that Metroid Prime displays in spades, which is 
why we feel is deserves a 'perfect' ten. Buy it, play 
it, love it and then play it all over again - there 
really is no other way to describe it. Just 
brilliant. Utterly brilliant. 



Q. IS IT BIG? 

Enormously so - even 
hardcore Metroid fans 
will be hard-pushed 
to get through in less 
than 15 hours, and 
even then they won't 
find everything. 

Q. DODGY 
CONTROLS? 

The only people who 
complain about the 
controls are ones who 
approach Metroid Prime 
as an FPS. It's not though, 
and the controls soon 
become second nature. 

Q. NO MULTIPLAYER? 

Definitely not, because 
it's not a first-person 
shoot-'em-up. Adding a 
multiplayer mode would 
have turned the game 
into something more 
generic and familiar. 



I 



I This chap shows up as a boss early on and then starts reappearing as a 
regular enemy once you're more powerful. 




I You'll come through here early on and then have to return much later 
once you've found a means of melting the frozen fountain. 



VERDICT 10/10 



ESSENTIAL - WORTH BUYING A GAMECUBE FOR ALONE 



games™ 099 



REVIEW I THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD 3 I XBOX 









I Crowds like this are easily dealt with thanks to your trusty Boomstick. 
Don't use a broomstick, mind. That would be useless. 



P\ I 



I Challenging as hell but enjoyable nonetheless, Time Attack mode is a welcome inclusion to the line-up. You've got unlimited life but take a hit and you 
start running out of precious time. But blast the undead into next week and you get extra seconds. 



One of the later areas features a torch that shines light wherever you 
point your gun - a nice touch. 



ZOMBIES, GUNS, MUTILATION, DIRE SCRIPTING... SEGA'S SEMINAL SHOOTER RETURNS 



THE 



USUI 



HOUSE OF 
THE DEAD 3 



55E3E 

FORMAT REVIEWED 

Xbox 
ORIGIN 
Japan 
PUBLISHER 

SEGA 
DEVELOPER 

Wow Entertainment 
PRICE 
£39.99 
RELEASE 

Out Now 

PLAYERS 

1-2 





hen this game was first announced, 
the Xbox seemed like an odd home 
for the latest instalment of zombie- 
blasting fun. Logic would have seen 
it follow Vampire Night to Sony's console - with an 
excellent official lightgun already on the market, the 
PlayStation2 was the obvious choice. But SEGA has 
never been known for doing the obvious (monkeys? 
In balls, you say?) and now we see why House Of 
The Dead 3 has appeared on the Xbox - it's as 
visually beautiful as anything SEGA has cooked up 
in recent years and really takes advantage of the 
machine's processing prowess. 

Following on from its predecessors, this third 
helping of zombie eradication sees Rogan's 
daughter Lisa teaming up with his old partner 'G' to 
rescue him from yet another undead-populated 
nightmare. Cue some of the hammiest acting this 
side of Resident Evil and plot twists even Beano 
readers will see coming a mile off. And then the 
shooting starts -The House Of The Dead is officially 
open for business. This time around, gameplay 
sticks mainly to the tried and tested formula - 



there's not much to do other than shoot zombies. A 
lot. And fast. Unfortunately, some of the better 
route-branching features from the previous game 
have been lost in the translation to the Xbox. The 
clever features like shooting keys to access new 
areas or blowing locks off doors are replaced with a 
more Virtua Cop-style branching system. By this, 
we mean you're occasionally offered an obvious 
choice of several routes and shooting a sign 
chooses between them. As a result, the action 
seems a little more broken-up than it probably 
should. Another bone of contention is the level 
design; while anyone can see that the areas look 
fantastic, it's more than slightly irksome that three 
of the six areas look worryingly familiar, even to the 
point of several re-treading the same path. If the 
locales were as varied as the excellent enemies, this 
would be an absolute treat but we can't help feeling 
slightly cheated when half of the game takes place 
in near-identical settings. 

For all this regressiveness, House Of The Dead 3 

does do its fair share of innovating. Time Attack 

mode takes the tired lightgun genre on a refreshing 



Q. IS THERE AN 
OFFICIAL GUN? 

Microsoft hasn't 
produced a lightgun, 
but Joytech and Mad 
Katz have both 
released excellent 
third party models. 

Q. HOME EXTRAS? 

Aside from a full version 
of House Of The Dead 2, 
there's only Time Attack 
to keep you occupied. 

Q. ARE THERE 
SPECIAL WEAPONS? 

No, but the main pistol 
has been replaced with a 
shotgun, hence the 
shells in the corner 
of the screen. 



r 


ENDGAME... 




1 

■J" .■ i 






BETTER THAN 




100 games™ 





r ij 


p^ 




m 


"4 ■ 
























i^™™~j j 





BACK TO THE OLD SCHOOL 

Possibly the best feature of House Of The 

Dead 3 is the inclusion of the full home 

version of House Of The Dead 2 as an extra. 

Once you finish the game, you'll be able to 

take on the previous shooter in all its 

Dreamcast glory. Well, nearly all. 

Unfortunately, the porting process hasn't 

treated HOTD2 particularly well and certain 

areas suffer from slowdown, which isn't a 

huge problem but it makes the prequel 

seem like a last-minute idea rather than a 

fully-fledged extra feature. Despite this, 

HOTD2 and all its extra modes have aged 

rather well - it still manages to outshine 

the likes of Dino Stalker and Ninja Assault. 

In fact, we found ourselves wanting to play 

HOTD2 much more than the main title. 

Which is rather telling. 



jaunt by ditching the life system entirely. Replacing it 
is a time gauge that ticks down as you progress 
through the game - take a hit and you'll lose 
precious time but produce some fancy 
marksmanship and you'll regain some lost seconds. 
More time is rewarded for better shooting so the 
normal HOTD trigger-finger workout is useless - 
you'll need to have a Time Crisis level of accuracy to 
make it through this mode as once you run out of 
time, it's game over. No continues, no nothing. In all 
fairness, while this is a unique and fun game mode, 
it could have been better implemented. A shotgun 
is hardly the best weapon with which to attempt 
precision shooting and you'll often lose out on time 
bonuses as stray buckshot clips nearby targets. 

In terms of extra features, SEGA has always 

been the leader of its field, offering the player 

rearranged game modes, items and training modes. 







This is one of its first titles in recent years not to 
provide such additional replay value (aside from the 
Time Attack mode) - instead, the somewhat odd 
decision has been made to include Dreamcast 
classic House Of The Dead2'\r\ full. Frankly, we're 
surprised that the first game isn't here too, although 
that could just be a case of our trigger-fingers 
getting the better of us. If nothing else, HOTD2 
shows just what should have been present in 
console version number three. The sheer diversity 
of the game modes and the amount of extras that 
were added remain arguably unrivalled to this day. 

Much as we hate to admit it, we're not overly 
impressed with House Of The Dead 3. Believe 
us, we want to be; the classic series looks better 
than ever in its new home. But that's just it - its 
appearance seems to have got the better of it. The 
actual gameplay is a leap backwards from some of 



what we've seen recently and a lot of the skill has 
been removed by replacing the pistol with a spread 
weapon. As a result we're left with a dumbed-down 
shooter in fancy clothes that offers brief bursts of 
fun in moderation - but then such is the nature of 
the genre. With little extra replay value on top of 
the included prequel, you don't even need to go 
near a Dreamcast or an arcade to see how this 
genre should be done - just play through 
House Of The Dead 3 once to unlock a 
perfect example. 



VERDICT 5/10 



A BOG-STANDARD EFFORT FROM SEGA 






' 


■i ■ M 













I This time, instead of saving civilians you have to help your partner. 



I Fat zombies - easier to hit but they take so many bullets. . 



I Dammit, that smarts. Why do those zombies wear false nails? 



games™ 101 



REVIEW I THE GETAWAY I PLAYSTATI0N2 






GRAND THEFT AUTO AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS? 

THE GETAWAY 



FORMAT REVIEWED 

PlayStation2 
ORIGIN 
UK 

PUBLISHER 
Sony 

DEVELOPER 
Team Soho 
PRICE 
£39.99 
RELEASE 
Out Now 
PLAYERS 





adies and gentlemen, boys and girls, 
welcome to development hell. On 
your left, you'll see possibly the most 
delayed game ever, Duke Nukem 
Forever- this project has been in production since 
practically the beginning of time itself. Cast your 
eyes right now and you may be lucky enough to 
catch a glimpse of Sony's most elusive title, 
something much more interesting. Originally 
conceived at the same time as the PlayStation2 
launch, this rare specimen has undergone 
countless evolutions to be here today. In fact, its 
mere existence is as remarkable as the feats of 
which it is capable. Early claims of extinction, 
disability and even non-existence will be proved 
false by what you'll see here today. Ladies and 
gentlemen, it gives us great pleasure to present to 
you . . . The Getaway. 

And as if by magic, The Getaway appeared on 

I I shop shelves everywhere. There was a time 

when so little was said about Team Soho's crime 



romp that it was widely believed to have been 
canned. Some cynics saw the announcement of 
The Getaway as a direct retaliation to the 
Dreamcast's seminal Metropolis Street Racer. 
While Bizarre Creations's racer re-created sections 
of famous towns, Sony claimed it could go one 
better and create a game based around the whole 
of London. Although this seemed a little far- 
fetched, shots started to emerge clearly showing 
familiar landmarks and vehicles; could Sony really 
pull it off? It may have taken its sweet time in 
coming, but pull it off it has... 

If nothing else, The Getaway is an incredible 

(technical showcase for the Sony console - 

clearly the least powerful of the 'big three', every 
drop of processing power has been squeezed from 
the machine to prove that the PS2 is still in the 
running. From the real vehicles to actual London 
stores and landmarks, the visual polish is 
undeniable. Even the audio is impressive - engine 
noise, ambience and voice-acting are all of a 





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i You're either hiding or you're guarding the world's biggest pile of booze. 
Both of which are noble pastimes. 




I Leaning on walls allows you to rest up a little - this is the only way to 
recover health. 




I Umm, oh dear. I don't think that's supposed to happen. And, what with this being London, you'll be roundly ignored by passers-by. They'll probably think 
you're some sort of street performer. Still, better than being one of those idiots who covers himself in silver paint and stands still for seven hours. 



102 games™ 




Need a car? Just whip out a 
firearm and most drivers will 
gladly lend you their wheels. 
Which is kind of them. 



staggeringly high quality, but then lengthy 
development will have facilitated this. In fact, in 
terms of presentation this is probably the most 
polished and accomplished title available for the 
PlayStation2. Even menus are impressive and the 
overall feel is that of a Brit gangster flick knocked 
out by Guy Ritchie. The lack of an interface is also a 
brave and cinematic move - instead, some clever 
touches point out directions and health. For 
instance, the amount of bloodstains and the way a 
character moves shows their health, while car 
indicators flash to point out where you're supposed 
to be going. Clever stuff. 

Obviously, the first comparison most people will 

I I draw will be with the Grand Theft Auto games 

- with similar themes of theft and violence, the two 
do seem more than a little similar. Once you start 
playing, though, the similarities slowly fade. 
Rockstar's titles take a much more comedic and 



Q. WHERE'S THE 
HUD GONE? 

There are no on-screen 
meters, gauges or 
arrows to clutter the 
view. Bloodstains show 
injuries, indicators point 
you in the right direction. 

Q. HOW'S THE 
FRAME RATE? 

Much improved since we 
first saw it. Still not 
perfect but surprisingly 
smooth nonetheless. 

Q. REAL CARS? 

While not actually 
credited, the vehicles are 
superb re-creations of 
the real things. Go on, 
try telling us that's not 
a Vectra... 



almost arcadey approach to the action while Sony's 
offering is a more gritty and realistic affair. Car 
handling and mission structure represent this too: 
slam into a wall in a Punto and you'll need a new 
car right away, or get hit by a bus and you won't get 
up. This realism is evident throughout and it makes 
the game extremely tricky in places - a nasty 
collision in a chase will often give the subject 
enough time to escape. The on-foot sections play 
less like GTA and more like SEGA's Headhunter or 
even, to a lesser extent, Splinter Cell; it's a lot 
stealthier than it may appear. Everything feels much 
chunkier and generally more real than in GTA, 
which is something of a mixed blessing. 

As a game, The Getaway is perhaps too 

I structured for its own good. Aside from the Free 

Roaming mode, the game shepherds you around 
24 missions through the eyes of two characters. 
This is a nice stab at variety and it gives you two 




■ I think it's safe to say that they won't fight back any more. . 




■ Hurrah for the police, setting a fine example of road safety and car 
handling for us all. 

viewpoints on the story but it pales in comparison 
to the freedom of Rockstar's epic. Occasionally we 
found ourselves wanting to do our own thing, but 
the main game doesn't really lend itself too well to 
such explorative play -the free roaming option 
ought to have been a greater part of the main 
gameplay. The fact that it isn't results in an 
extremely linear game - a real shame given that 
there are so many well-implemented elements in 
place. Having been hyped half to death then sinking 
without a trace, The Getaway has been under a lot 
of fire until very recently. As such, we're pleasantly 
surprised that not only has it finally emerged, 
but that it's really quite a sound package. 
Nice one, geezers... 



VERDICT 7/10 



NOT QUITE THE CLASSIC IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN. . 



^^^PH 


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. ^H^BB 










A 









HEADHUNTER 



I'VE BEEN THERE! 

After trying to find our way around Vice City's Miami, it's bizarre to jump 
into The Getaway and already know where we're going before we even 
start. You see, the re-creation of London is so faithful that whether you've 
only visited our glorious capital once or you work there day in day out, 
you'll probably at least recognize something. Everything down to the 
smallest detail has been perfectly copied - all your favourite stores and 
landmarks are ripe for visiting. Unfortunately, you don't actually get to go 
into many of the buildings, but given the hard work that The Getaway is 
already doing, this is hardly surprising. In one particularly disappointing 
incident early on, we took a trip to HMV Oxford Street to see if there were 
any celebs signing CDs. When we got there we were greeted with a 
closed shop and a big poster of The Corrs. Bah. 




WORSE THAN 





GTA: VICE CITY 



games™ 103 



REVIEW I SIM CITY 4 1 PC 



Rsai 



THINK SIM CITY WAS COMPLICATED BEFORE? THINK AGAIN. 

SIM CITY 4 



FORMAT REVIEWED 

PC 
ORIGIN 

US 
PUBLISHER 

Electronic Arts 
DEVELOPER 

Maxis 






MINIMUM SPEC 

PIN 500 or equivalent; 
128MB RAM; 16MB 
supported Direct3D 
capable video card 
with DirectX 7.0 
compatible driver; 
8x CD-ROM 



s far as boring ideas go, surely the 
Sim City series is one of the dullest 
concepts in videogame history. You 
make a city. You make it a bit bigger. 
And that's it. You don't fight anyone, you don't 
mass-produce spaceships and you don't run around 
stealing cars. In fact, if it doesn't involve buildings, 
utilities or statistics, you probably can't do it. It's only 
thanks to the brilliant manner in which these games 
are tackled that such a simplistic concept is 
somehow turned into an engrossing and life- 
consuming epic time and time again. Many an 
adventurous developer has attempted to steal 
Maxis's thunder; from Theme Park to Zoo Tycoon 
via Civilization, many have tried, some have come 
close, but none have surpassed the majesty of the 
Sim City series. Every update brings fresh ideas and 
innovations, so what treats are on offer after a three 
year break from Sim City? 

Of late, the name Maxis is more or less 
synonymous with The Sims, a good franchise 
that's been bled dry by countless updates - the 



audacity of charging £20 for several new items that 
should have featured in the original game is 
shameless. It's unsurprising then, that elements 
from the highly popular family simulator are 
carried over to the higher-scale Sim City. The initial 
concept differs little from the tried and tested 
formula - work your way up from watching over 
several houses to having acres of land and 
hundreds of thousands of citizens to keep under 
control. This latest update allows you to get even 
closer to the action, even down to creating your 
own Sims, picking them a home and then getting 
real feedback on the city's evolution from an actual 
citizen. Not only is this genuinely helpful but it 
brings with it a kind of 'Sims Lite' feel - you don't 
have the level of control of the usual titles, but with 
so much else to do this is the least of our worries. 

Sim City4\s undeniably beautiful. Provided 
you're blessed with a decent gaming-standard 
PC, you'll get to enjoy it in all its glory. But even 
when toned down to cater for lesser machines 
there's loads to see and even more going on. Zoom 
all the way out and you'll see tiny specks moving 
around your bustling metropolis -on closer 
inspection you'll find people commuting to work 
and busy infrastructures heaving with vehicles as 
surrounding structures operate exactly as they 
should. Push the view all the way in and you're in 
for a visual feast; we were pleasantly surprised to 



Q. INTERNET 
GOODNESS? 

Oh yes. New content 
such as buildings, maps 
and landscapes can 
be downloaded from 
the Web. 

Q. REAL LOCATIONS? 

Indeed. Although you 
start in fictional 
Maxisland, London and 
New York (among 
others) can be rebuilt at 
your leisure. 

Q. WHAT'S THE PLOT? 

Oh dear. Let's just say 
that if you're after an 
engrossing storyline and 
complex character 
evolution, you may want 
to look elsewhere. 




I Just when you thought your day couldn't get any worse, a ten-storey 
robot beams in and tramples your house into the ground. Great 



I As night falls, your Sims pile into popular nightspots such as the drive-in theatre to waste a few hours. The flow of time is so quick that you can actively 
change between night and day as you wish. If you're not impressed by this kind of power, you probably won't get the most out of Sim City 4. 



104 games™ 




actually see Sims using the basketball courts we 
provided, chatting in the streets or just relaxing in 
the park -the level of detail is phenomenal. Sound 
is, to be fair, a little redundant. The inoffensive 
smooth jazz drifts in one ear and out the other as an 
inner city ambience fills the air, exactly as you'd 
expect going by previous Sim titles. Innovations 
were apparently used up on the rest of the package, 
but the audio is more than passable as it is. 

But despite the overwhelming depth and 
ingenuity of the city-building process, we had 
the same problem here that we last encountered 
with The Sims. Minutes turn to hours, hours turn to 
days of play but suddenly a revelation hits you: 
'What am I doing?', 'What's the point?' - you start 
to question why you're putting so much time into a 
practically endless game. One of two things 
happens at this point. If the addiction has taken 
hold, you'll shake off the mere thought of giving 
up, dose up on coffee and get back to your mayoral 
duties. Of course, the other possibility is that you're 
struck by the fruitlessness of your every deed and 
immediately jack it all in. Okay, so these may be the 
extreme circumstances, but you'll more than likely 
experience a lesser form of one or the other. 
Complacency (the 'I've bought it so I'll finish it' 
attitude) is unlikely since there's no point at which 
you can say for sure that you've finished the game. 

So is it a squalid waste of time or the gift that 
keeps on giving? That's not something we can 
tell you, but you'll know for yourself several hours 
down the line. If it appeals to you in that time, you'll 
probably find yourself as hooked as a student who's 
just discovered Civilization 2. Otherwise, the endless 
gameplay and overall 'dryness' will most likely 



■ Two Big Bens, a Statue of Liberty, the White House and several highly 
dangerous power plants - the tourist trap is well and truly set. 

leave you cold - the need for a definite narrative or 
a more light-hearted approach (as in Rollercoaster 
Tycoon or The Sims) is very evident here. There can 
be no avoiding the fact that the series as whole is in 
something of a rut - besides a few slight evolutions 
with each passing title, there's little to demand 
repeated updates of what is essentially the same 
game. If your collection already boasts a Sim City 
game, you can probably live without this fourth 
wave of cities but, otherwise, this is pretty much as 
good an endless strategy game as you'll see 
on any platform. 






VERDICT Q/10 



81 




PLAYING GOD 

Before you start laying the foundations for a 
thriving settlement, you have almost boundless 
control over nature and the elements. After 
picking out a plot of land for your proposed city, 
you'll be taken to a zoomed-in version - from 
here you can raise and lower land, turn day to 
night, plant foliage and even release herds of 
wild animals into the plains, deserts and 
mountains. This deity-like power means you can 
never blame your surroundings for failure again, 
and there's much more room for variety 
between cities. Want a two-part city separated 
by a bridge over a gaping ravine? You got it. Feel 
like building a monument atop a record-breaking 
plateau? Go for it. If you're feeling particularly 
nasty you can even unleash the fury of the 
elements across the land with hurricanes and 
tidal waves being among the available natural 
disasters. A lot of this power is lost as soon as 
the city is founded, but ifs still a welcome 
inclusion. Now don't let us catch you whining 
about that river being in the way ever again. . . 




I Building houses is as simple as dragging the pointer over an area. Once 
you've specified where you want them, houses are built as needed. 




BETTER THAN 



WORSE THAN 



GOALLESS GOODNESS - THE SERIES HITS A NEW HIGH 




THE SIMS (PC) 



games™ 105 



REVIEW I DEAD TO RIGHTS I XBOX 




Q. IS IT A BIG GAME? 

There are 15 chapters 
and it takes, on average, 
around an hour to 
complete each one 

Q. HOW MANY 
ENEMIES AT ONCE? 

Gunfights can involve up 
to about 15 people 
simultaneously. Laser 
sighting on the bad guys' 
guns helps to show 
which direction they're 
firing from. 

Q. ARTIFICIAL 
INTELLIGENCE? 

Sadly, this is one area of 
the game that utterly 
disappoints. Most 
enemies simply run 
around shooting or 
throwing punches at you. 













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and shot at to take out multiple 
enemies with a single blast. 




FORMAT REVIEWED 

Xbox 
ORIGIN 

US 
PUBLISHER 

Electronic Arts 
DEVELOPER 
Namco 
PRICE 

£39.99 
RELEASE 

Out Now (Japan: TBC/ 




HAS NAMCO'S MAX PAYNE-ALIKE 
BEEN IMPROVED FOR ITS UK DEBUT? 

DEAD TO 



fter a lengthy development period on 
PS2, Namco Hometek finally released 
its moderately anticipated action title 
Dead To Rights, in August last year. 

The strange thing was that after a considerable 
investment on Sony's hardware (both in terms of 
time and money), the game actually launched as 
an Xbox exclusive. At the time, it wasn't clear why 
such a decision was made, though it's since 
become apparent that it was actually the result of a 
temporary exclusivity deal struck between Namco 
and Microsoft- a deal lasting just 90 days. Such a 
thing isn't uncommon in the wonderful world of 
videogames -just look at Sony with the Tomb 
Raider and Grand Theft Auto licences for proof of 
that. Even so, while it was reasonably surprising to 
discover that the PS2 version would follow so soon 
afterwards, it was even more of a surprise to 
discover that a GameCube version would also be 
launching at the same time. 

Upon its release in the States, it was clear that 
Xbox Dead To Rights lacked polish in a few key 
areas - artificial intelligence being a particular 
problem during some sections of the game. As an 
example, one level sees Jack Slate (the main 
character - a cop who has been framed for a crime 
he didn't commit) thrown in jail, with only his fists 
to protect him against gangs of criminals who want 
their revenge on the police. The problem is that 
each group of convicts has an assigned area 
(dictated by an invisible wall) in which they operate 



106 games™ 



I Although it's not integral to the game, a stealth element is included should you want to use it. Right now, with several bad guys with guns running 
around looking for you, it might be a good idea to start being stealthy and just, er, hide for a bit. 




RIGHTS 



- step outside it and they lose interest in beating 
you to a pulp and return to aimlessly wandering 
about. Once you've discovered the exact point at 
which the Al mysteriously switches off, you can use 
it to escape from battle and recompose yourself. 
Worse still, after you've crossed this boundary, foes 
have a tendency to turn their backs on you, at 
which point they can be grabbed from behind and 
disposed of with a simple snap of the neck. 

Thankfully, such problems have been reduced 
for the PAL translation of the game, as have 
many other issues that marred the overall 
experience. We were especially pleased to learn 
that three difficulty settings have now been 
implemented, making the game more accessible to 
a wider audience. Dead To Rights was never the 
easiest of games and still isn't, but the tricky 
sections have been refined and now rely much 
more on the player's skill, rather than luck. Some 
problems do still exist though. The camera isn't 
perfect and, at its worst, can totally obscure what's 
happening on-screen. Get too close to a wall during 
a fight, for example, and Jack can actually clip 
through the camera and disappear completely off 
the screen -which is particularly annoying if you're 
running low on energy. 

But, for all its imperfections, Dead To Rights 
actually does a lot of things right. There's a 
superb blend of beat-'em-up, shoot-'em-up, 
adventure and puzzle, and, because these different 



elements are so well executed, progression is 
always exciting - even if some of the levels are a 
little linear. Of course, learning to make the most of 
Jack's abilities is an arduous task, but one that's 
made somewhat easier by the fact that the first 
level is essentially a training ground. It's here that 
you learn to disarm enemies - either by grabbing 
them and breaking their necks or by requesting the 
help of your trusty dog, Shadow. You can also 
throw fire extinguishers then shoot at them to 
create a massive explosion capable of taking out 
multiple enemies - something that comes in handy 
right the way through the game. Then, of course, 
there's the slow-motion bullet-time feature, which 
has been lifted straight out of Max Payne and, 
combined with the similar themes and storylines, 
has resulted in the two games being compared on 
many occasions. 

But Dead To Rights isn't Max Payne- Namco 
has tried its best to make something with a lot 
more variation and depth. Sadly, the fact that it has 
tried to squeeze so much in has resulted in some 
elements feeling unfinished and rather shallow. It 
certainly has its moments, but far too often 
problems with the camera or connection between 
characters makes it all feel cheaper than it should. 
Dead To Rights reportedly went way over budget, 
costing a massive $4 million to produce, so it really 
shouldn't be anything other than stunning. As it 
stands, though, it's a moderately enjoyable title 
that goes from average to fairly good in places. 



RHYTHM AND ACTION 

Dispersed amongst the shooting and fighting 
that makes up the biggest percentage of the 
gameplay are occasional quick-time button 
pressing events. The first of these takes place 
in the training level and involves picking a lock 
by stopping the separate mechanisms as the 
markers line-up within the barrel. Slightly more 
amusing is the Dancing Stage-inspired pole 
dancing scene, in which you have to make a 
stripper move in time with the music to attract 
the bouncers. This gives Jack an opportunity 
to sneak into the club unnoticed, while the 
guards ogle the decidedly pointy polygon 
attributes on offer. Later on, these rhythm- 
based interludes become a little more tricky as 
you have to prove your strength in jail by 
competing in a number of physical workouts. 




DEAD TO RIGHTS (US) 




WORSE THAN 



>< i^ 



SPLINTER CELL 



GAM ECU BE £39.99 OUT NOW 



The graphics are as 
good as those on the 
Xbox, though the 
controller isn't ideal 
and there's no Dolby 
Digital 5.1 surround 
sound. Otherwise, 
there isn't that 
much difference. 



£39.99 OUT NOW 



This is the worst- 
looking version, 
despite having by 
far the longest 
development time. 
However, the control 
pad is the most 
suitable of the 
three consoles. 





VERDICT 6/10 



THERE'S FUN TO BE HAD, BUT IT FEELS TOO SCRAPPY 



games™ 107 



REVIEW I METROID FUSION I GAME BOY ADVANCE 








■ While you can reclaim Samus's abilities from fallen boss enemies, there 
are also Data Rooms where specific power-ups can be found. 






Bgy^i^EI 



3 There are six main sectors to explore on top of the main deck of the Space Station - that's a whole lot of ground to explore. And remember, they're still 
big even after they've been miniaturised to fit into your GBA, so they must be huge. 



I Some areas of the Space Station are without power, which means 
you'll have to rely on Samus's built-in torch to light the way. . . 



RES 



FORMAT REVIEWED 

Game Boy Advance 
ORIGIN 

US 



A SNES PORT ON THE GBA THAT'S AN ORIGINAL GAME AS WELL? 
NOW WE'RE CONFUSED... 

METROID FUSION 





CASTLEVANIA: COTM 



ver since the Game Boy Advance was 
first announced, it's been clear that 
Nintendo's strategy for the handheld 
has focused heavily on the porting of 
old SNES games. That's not necessarily a bad thing 
- after all, we lost countless hours racing karts 
against Mario, saving Hyrule with Link and 
speeding around Mute City. Still, you'd think that 
among all the perfect (or even, in some cases, 
improved) SNES ports that seem to make up the 
majority of Nintendo's releases for its own machine, 
it'd find the time to develop the odd new title as 
well - maybe even one based on a classic franchise 
that everyone loved the first few times around. 



With that being the case, allow us to introduce 

I you to Metroid Fusion -a brand new game 

based on an age-old classic. Confused? Well, it's 
quite simple really. While Metroid Fusion is, to all 
intents and purposes, a port of Super Metroid on 
the SNES, it's also an entirely new game. 
Certainly, it uses the same graphics engine as the 
SNES original (with a few minor touch-ups) as 
well as the same area-based structure, map 
display and weapons. All those elements aside 
though, Metroid Fusion is a totally original title 
with new levels, monsters and even a full-blown 
plot to boot. Yes, that's right, there's an actual story 
to go with Samus's new miniature adventure. 




SUPER METROID 



I Each environment plays host to its own selection of aliens and enemies. 



Try to defeat the, er, arcane contraceptive device? No? Am I wrong? 



Q. HOW MANY 
LEVELS? 

The game doesn't appear 
to be quite as big as the 
SNES version, but there's 
still a good fifteen hours 
of play here if you want 
to find everything. 

Q. BOSSES? 

Yep - big and mean 
ones. They start off on 
the 'quite big' side and 
end up being bloomin' 
huge... and vicious too. 

Q. ANY NEW 
ABILITIES? 

Sort of. While Samus has 
lost her lovely grappling 
hook, she can now hang 
from ledges and clamber 
across overhead ladders 
-just like Lara Croft. 



108 games 




ME AND MY SHADOW 

Although we don't want to give too 
much of the plot away, the reasons 
behind the disaster Samus is sent to 
investigate are a little more complicated 
than they might first seem. If you don't 
want to know who the perpetrator is, 
look away now... because it's you. Yes, 
there's an evil Samus clone on the loose 
(codenamed SA-X) and to make 
matters worse, ifs a clone that's fully 
tooled-up and after your blood. Formed 
from infected pieces of your old suit 
that were removed after your parasitic 
accident, the evil Samus will stop at 
nothing to bring you down and spread 
the X virus throughout the research 
station - even if it means destroying the 
place in the process. You'll have your 
work cut out if you want to get out of 
this one alive... 



Whereas in previous outings, the plot has been 
relegated to a very basic premise (go to planet, 
destroy Metroids/Space Pirates and, er, that's it), 
Metroid Fusion actually has an evolving story that 
keeps you wondering what's going to happen next. 
At the start, you're treated to an introduction of epic 
proportions that explains everything up to the point 
where you take control of Samus - it's a pretty 
convoluted story featuring alien parasites known 
simply as X, Samus's infection with X (and 
subsequent recovery) and the resulting chaos on 
board the Biologic Space Lab research station. 
Naturally, Samus is sent to investigate the incident 
and once she's arrived things start getting even 
more interesting thanks to various explosions and 
surprise appearances - it's a bit like Eastenders, 
only set in space. 

The bottom line is that following a devastating 

I (explosion aboard the research station, it's your 

job to get in there and sort out the aftermath; cue a 
massive action/adventure game in the same vein 
as Super Metroid. Obviously, the new plot means 
that there are subtle changes. For example, your 
recent infestation of the X parasites means you're 
now immune to their power. Killing any enemy on 



board the station reveals the X within, which can 
then be collected to recover health, missiles or 
other goodies depending on the colour of the 
parasite (no more grabbing glowing purple orbs or 
floating missiles for you). However, the process of 
exploring each sector of the station to recover your 
missing abilities, track down extra Missile and 
Energy Tanks for your Power Suit and generally do 
what Samus does best is pure Super Metroid- not 
a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. 

Rather than wandering freely and having to 
_J remember exactly where each dead end is, 
Metroid Fusion gives you pointers about where to 
go next through mission briefings in each sector's 
Navigation Room. While these briefings are key to 
moving the story along, they're the only vaguely 
bad point in the game. Some hard-core Metroid 
fans will feel that they take away some of the skill 
needed to play the game, but they actually remove 
the need for the aimless wandering that the SNES 
game featured so heavily. What's more, special 
items now appear on the map as an open circle, 



shrinking into a smaller dot once you've collected 
them. Seeing as the SNES game marked 
everything in the same way so you couldn't tell 
what you'd collected and what you hadn't, this is a 
definite plus point. 

There's no doubt that Nintendo has managed to 

I I improve an already fantastic game. Metroid 

Fusion takes the best from each game in the series 
and combines it with an excellent story to create 
one of the best 2D examples of the Metroid saga 
yet. It's an absolute must for fans who know the 
series inside out, but still manages to be a whole ton 
of fun for anyone who doesn't even know what a 
Metroid is. What's more, it's proof that Nintendo's 
cutting-edge handheld has more than just a 
bunch of bog-standard SNES ports up its 
sleeve. So that should shut the critics up. 



JVERDICI 



8/10 



ENGROSSING, CHALLENGING AND A REAL JOY TO PLAY 



games™ 109 



REVIEW I MARIO PARTY 4 I GAM ECU BE 



MULTIPLAYER FRIVOLITIES OF THE HIGHEST ORDER COME TO THE 'CUBE 

MARIO PARTY 4 





FORMAT REVIEWED 

GameCube 
ORIGIN 
Japan 
PUBLISHER 
Nintendo 
DEVELOPER 
Hudson 
PRICE 
£39.99 
RELEASE 
Out Now 

PLAYERS 

1-4 



s an established series on the N64, 
the Mario Party games were widely 
renowned as some of the finest 
multiplayer gaming experiences on 
the console. Blending some frantic mini-games 
with a boardgame-style hub where you moved 
around and collected items, their unique approach 
set the three games apart from everything else - 
even today, there's been nothing like them bar a 
few cheap imitations. But now Nintendo 
apparently have bigger fish to fry so they've 
passed the baton to multiplayer veterans Hudson, 
famed for the classic Bomberman series. The 
question is, can the good ship Mario Party still sail 
with this new captain at the helm? The answer is 
a resounding yes, but don't expect this vessel to 
enter any uncharted waters. 

Mario Party 4 isn't very different to its 

I predecessors; there have been a few 

alterations, mainly in terms of new items and mini- 
games but the structure remains unchanged - 
Nintendo hit the jackpot with the first Mario Party 
and Hudson really had no choice but to make the 
first GameCube outing a familiar affair. Rolling dice 
blocks, moving around the board and collecting 
Stars and items are the basics, which are 
interspersed with mini-games for coins at the end 



of each turn. After the designated number of turns, 
the player with the most Stars wins. Simple. Or 
maybe not - lots of new items allow for even more 
devious play than before, so stealing Stars and 
other items from opponents is commonplace. 

Mario Party 4 is really a greatest hits album 

I I with several new tracks; it takes the best bits of 

the last three games and throws in some new 
ingredients to make the definitive party game. 
This is all well and good, but as nice as the mini- 
games are, there's still a huge amount of luck 
governing the goings-on. You'll also need a fair bit 
of time on your hands to enjoy a full party game 
and, even then, it does drag on a bit. We found 
ourselves playing the individual mini-games a lot 
more than the full games. Titles like Super 
Monkey Ball have proved that multiplayer fun 
doesn't need anything to tie the games together. 
Provided you have enough controllers (and 
friends), Mario Party 4 is the beautifully polished 
peak of the series - with four people 
playing, there's no better way to break up a 
couple of rounds of Monkey Target... 



MARIO PARTY 3 



VERDICT 6/10 



MULTIPLAYER FUN WITH SO-SO SOLO PLAY 




1-vM 



I The boards have been specially created to take advantage of the 
Mini-Mega system. 






teJrfl 



L -'*** 






1 J jf JL 



I Some of the mini-games test your analogue stick precision - not e 
especially if you're feeling a bit er, overwrought 



Star Get! Donkey Kong takes an early lead. We may have a couple of million years of evolution over our monkey brethren but it's nice to s 
that, in a videogame at least, they can still get one up on us. Equal opportunities and all that 



110 games™ 



REVIEW I BUBBLE BOBBLE: OLD AND NEW I GAME BOY ADVANCE 




Collecting all the letters to reach an extra special bonus level was probably one of the banes of our turbulent childhoods. Well, that and the regular 
birchings from Nanny and the years at a bleak Highlands boarding school. It was cold, so cold. . . 



I They might have improved the graphics, but it's nice to see that the 
badly-translated English remains exactly the same. 



BUBBLE BOBBLE: 



OLD AND NEW 



OLD GAME, NEW CONSOLE... BUT DOES IT REALLY WORK? 



m\ 




FORMAT REVIEWED 

Game Boy Advance 
ORIGIN 
Japan 
PUBLISHER 
Empire 
DEVELOPER 
MediaKite 
PRICE 

£24.99 (with link cable) 
RELEASE 
Out Now 
PLAYERS 
1-2 






n the days long before Rainbow 
Islands, Parasol Stars and Bust-A- 
Move, there were only Bub and Bob 
- two lonely young boys who got 
turned into bubble-breathing dragons by the evil 
Super Drunk... no, really. Despite sounding totally 
bizarre and having one of the most simple 
concepts known to man, Taito's Bubble Bobble 
took arcades by storm in 1986 and soon became a 
cult favourite. So, with the GBA recently 
becoming the prime candidate for retro updates, 
it's no surprise that some bright spark has thought 
of bringing the game back for another run - and 
with the promise of something new, no less. Woo, 
and indeed, hoo. 

Of course, if you're expecting anything totally 

I I revolutionary from this GBA port, you're more 

than likely going to be disappointed -this is old- 
school gaming action through and through. 
Going on the Old half alone, you'd be right in 
thinking it would feature an absolutely perfect port 
of the arcade original - every detail is here and, to 
be fair, that's all we'd expect. 
Bubble Bobble was always a 
tough little nut to crack and the 
process of encapsulating 
enemies in bubbles before 
popping them and collecting the 
goodies inside isn't as easy as it 



might appear - especially if you've got a hundred 
levels to plough through before reaching the end. 
When it comes to the New half of the title though, 
we might have hoped that there would be a 
whole slew of new levels to experience - after all, 
it wouldn't be hard to come up with some. 
Unfortunately though, Taito's licensing doesn't 
stretch that far - hence the reason why all 
MediaKite could do was enhance the graphics of 
the old engine. It's a shame that such changes 
couldn't be implemented, given that a lot of old- 
school ports to the GBA feature such extras. 
However, there's not much we (or the developers) 
can really do about it. 

In the long run, the fact you've got to consider 

I is that Bubble Bobble was, is, and always will 

be, an enjoyable game - this GBA port just 
makes it more accessible to more casual gamers. 
What really tips the balance in favour of this 
game is the inclusion of a free link cable, meaning 
that you can play against your mates straight 
out of the box; something that always appealed 
back in the day. This package is simple, but 
effective and, at the end of the day, a good 
game is always a good game, no matter 
how old it is. 



NAMCO MUSEUM 




VERDICT 7/10 



i 



GOOD OLD-FASHIONED FUN - JUST WHAT WE LIKE 



SUPER BUST-A-MOVE 



games™ m 



REVIEW I SHINOBI I PLAYSTATION2 



a 



WILL SEGA'S UPDATE TURN OUT TO BE A CASE OF CROUCHING 
TIGERS, HIDDEN DRAGONS OR MISSING GAMEPLAY? 



iii SHINOBI 




FORMAT REVIEWED 

PlayStation2 
ORIGIN 
Japan 
PUBLISHER 

SEGA 
DEVELOPER 

SEGA Overworks 
PRICE 

$49.99 (£32) 
RELEASE 

March '03 (TBC) 
(Japan/US: Out Now) 

PLAYERS 

1 



<•#- a ^ 








DEVIL MAY CRY 



eleasing updates of retro classics 
seems to be highly fashionable 
among the world's biggest game 
developers at the moment. First 
there was Capcom with Maximo (the pseudo 
follow-up to Ghouls 7V Ghosts), then Konami with 
Contra: Shattered Soldier, and now SEGA with 
Shinobi. And it doesn't stop there either - 2003 will 
see the release of Nintendo's Metroid Prime on 
GameCube and Tecmo's Ninja Gaiden on Xbox. 
Interestingly, only Shattered Soldier sticks closely 
to the 2D roots from which every one of these titles 
first stemmed; the others are finally making the 
bold move to 3D having been completely absent 
from retail for a number of years. Of course, the 
move to 3D doesn't always guarantee an increase 
in quality - just look at the Street Fighter EX games 
for proof of that. 

Thankfully, SEGA Overworks has approached 

I I the task of converting Shinobi in what we 

consider to be the best way possible. Rather than 



trying to force the core elements from 2D into 3D, 
the company has tackled the project as if it's 
something totally new. In the same way that 
Nintendo addressed the issue of taking the Mario 
universe into 3D on Nintendo 64, the full flavour 
and atmosphere of the Shinobi series has been 
captured here, though the gameplay and level 
structure has been completely reworked from 
scratch to be more suited to a 3D environment. 

The game begins with a typical FMV movie in 

I I which the main character, Hotsuma, enters the 

ruined streets of post-apocalyptic Tokyo. Speech 
can be switched between English and Japanese in 
the options, though the usual dire English voice- 
acting means you'll probably want to stick with the 
latter. Also disappointing is the quality of the pre- 
rendered polygon modelling, which manages to be 
noticeably drab compared to the crisper in-game 
graphics. Fortunately, this and all the other 
questionably poor cut-scenes can be skipped at 
any time. And so the first level begins and, while 




Q. HOW MANY 
LEVELS? 

Just four, but these are 
broken down into 
smaller sub areas and 
there are bosses on 
top of that. 

Q. FRAME RATE? 

Shinobi runs at a 
constant 60 frames per 
second throughout. 

Q. AUTHENTIC 
SOUND? 

The music is typically 
eighties and sounds like 
a mix of Giorgio Moroder 
and Jean Michel Jarre. 
This really takes us back 
to the days of the original 
arcade game. 




I Upon completion of each level you're awarded a ranking based purely on your skills. 



I Destroy the enemy with a single combo then enjoy a mini-cut-scene in which they literally fall to pieces. 



112 games™ 




you'd expect to be starting off somewhere vivid 
and eye-catching, the first stage is surprisingly 
muted and unspectacular. Stone and metal 
skyscrapers stretch towards the night sky in the 
devastated city streets, the only light and colour 
coming from the neon signs above the empty shop 
doorways. Textures are simple and clean and the 
fact that everything is constructed with a relatively 
low number of polygons means that it all runs 
incredibly smoothly. This minimalist graphical style 
has also allowed the developers to display plenty of 
enemies on screen simultaneously, as well as 
keeping movement fast and fluid. 

The control of Hotsuma is something that 

I (deserves special praise - especially considering 

the speed at which he moves and the amount of 
different actions on offer. Aside from the 
predictable single-button slash combos and double 
jumping, you can also cling to the surrounding 
walls and run along them. This technique is 
particularly useful in areas where entire streets 
have collapsed and huge, gaping chasms need to 
be passed. Theoretically, of course, it would be 
possible to stay on the walls for the entire duration 
of the level, so each stage has been carefully 
crafted to prevent such cheating from ever 
occurring. Firstly, Hotsuma can't cling to the loose 
rock faces that are dotted liberally throughout to 
make things a little more tricky. But the more 
traditional element that restricts the speed of 
progress is they way that every enemy in each sub- 
area must be destroyed before the next section 
becomes available. This can be compared to the 
'go' arrows that would appear in scrolling beat-'em- 
ups years ago. Of course, all these gameplay 
elements would be pointless if the combat was 



poorly implemented, but once again the developers 
have come up trumps. The nearest enemy can be 
locked-onto by holding R1 then destroyed by 
slashing with the square button. This causes your 
sword to glow for a short time, during which any 
subsequent attacks will be added onto the combo. 
You can also throw Shurikens at enemies to stun 
them, and zip around them at high-speed to 
avoid attacks. 

When all's said and done though, it isn't long 

I I before what's on offer starts to become a little 

repetitive; later levels may offer more in the way of 
visual variation, but the gameplay never really 
evolves in any way at all. Still, the Shinobi series 
started life as an arcade action game and that's 
exactly what SEGA Overworks has provided us 
with here. The developers haven't been tempted to 
include stealth or RPG elements to beef it up - 
there's Tenchu or Way Of The Samurai if that's 
what you want. Instead, Shinobi is a fast-paced 
action game quite unlike any other currently 
available and, while it may be short-lived, it's 
great fun while it lasts. 



SWORDS AND SORCERY 

A little way into the game, Hotsuma learns of 
the curse on Akujiki, his Oboro Clan sword. 
Sorcery has given Akujiki a life of its own and 
now it feeds on the souls of its victims in order 
to survive. Each time an enemy is destroyed, its 
soul is converted into Yin, a small red orb that 
represents the life that once was. Akujiki 
automatically absorbs this power, sucking it 
directly from the corpses, glowing with rage as 
it does so. However, failing to feed Akujiki 
results in the sword absorbing Yin directly from 
its wielder, saving itself but putting an end to the 
life of its user. Until that inevitable time, the user 
has no choice but to end enough lives to keep 
Akujiki, and indeed their own body, alive. 



VERDICT 6/10 



SIMPLISTIC AND REPETITIVE, BUT STILL QUITE FUN 




I There are three types of Ninjutsu here, the most effective is Ka'en. 



I Although the imagery is a little crude, it's undoubtedly artistic. 



games™ 113 



REVIEW I PHANTASY STAR ONLINE: EPISODE I & II 




I Come on, it's a Lily - a flower, for goodness sake. You don't need weapons, just a bit of weedkiller or maybe a spade. 



ONE ONLINE STEP FOR NINTENDO, ONE GIANT DISAPPOINTMENT FOR GAMING KIND 

PHANTASY STAR ONLINE 

EPISODE I & II 




I3E3H 



FORMAT REVIEWED 

GameCube 




DEVELOPER 

Sonic Team 
PRICE 

£39.99 (game), £59.99 
(game and modem) 

RELEASE 

Q1 '03 

(Japan/US: Out Now) 

PLAYERS 

1-4 



hh, Nintendo - ever wary of dipping 
its toe in the pool of online gaming. 
Not that you can blame it for taking 
things easy; certainly from a console 
point of view, the pool's quite chilly at the moment 
and pretty much devoid of anything remotely 
playable. Still, with Xbox Live just around the 
corner and even PlayStation2 set to leap online 
quite soon, the GameCube can't afford to hesitate 
for long. Which is probably why SEGA has decided 
to make the step on Nintendo's behalf and come 
up with a port of its most popular online title to 
date, Phantasy Star Online. However, we've got a 
distinct feeling that expectant gamers may be left 
rather unsatisfied. 

The main thing that should be pointed out if 

I I you're new to PSO is that, as single-player 

experiences go, it's rather weak- if you're expecting 
an epic RPG, you'll be disappointed. Obviously, it 
adheres to a few of the basic role-playing rules but 
as far as the plot goes (which is pretty integral to 
any RPG), it's a bit thin on the ground. Basically, 
you're a Hunter - you're employed to go down to 
the surface of this new planet to investigate an 
explosion and, well, that's it. If you want a more 
accurate description, think of it as 'RPG Lite' - a 
healthy alternative to the more meaty RPG titles. 



On top of that, lone players will find that the 

Igameplay is somewhat lacking in the variety 

department. Anyone who's familiar with the 
slightly monotonous pace of the Diablo series on 
the PC will recognise Phantasy Star Online's rather 
simple premise, mainly because it's an almost 
identical one. Teleport onto a planet (be it the 
Forest, Caves, Mines or another remarkably similar 
location) and kill all the monsters nearby to unlock 
the door into the next clearing - now kill all the 
monsters here to unlock the next door, and the 
next, and the... you get the picture. Then there's 
collecting items - by picking up everything you 
come across, you might just find something better 
than what you've got. Or maybe not. It's a case of 
collecting everything and having to check it against 
all the items you've already got - not exactly fun 
after the millionth time you have to do it. 

Primarily, PSO isn't a single-player game - 

I I heck, it isn't really even a split-screen 

multiplayer game, even though Sonic Team has 
obviously done its best to make it work. No, the 
focus of the game (as the name so obviously 
suggests) is the online mode. With the Japanese 



MYTH OF SOMA 




114 games™ 




The blatant gameplay problems with PSO are most obvious when you 

play the game solo - because you're on your own, the atmosphere is a 

bit flat. But do things get better when you add your mates? Well, almost. 

Clearly, PSO is supposed to be played with other people, although 

whether they were all meant to play on the same console is 

debatable. While it's obviously good that team mates can actually 

talk to each other, the split-screen makes for a rather minimal 

viewing experience and means it's often hard to see whafs going on. 

Everything's been cut down to make it fit, from the individual menus 

to the removal of the on-screen map that showed which direction the 

enemies were coming from. Understandable, but not ideal. 



and Americans taking to the Phantasy Star servers 
like flies to manure (in that there's loads of them on 
there, not that the game is comparable to horse 
crap) there's no doubt that people up and down the 
country will be forming new alliances and stealing 
items when no-one's looking. Yes, playing with 
people online does hold some kind of elusive 
enjoyment: the fact that there's actually someone 
there besides the rather feeble Al to kill, talk to (in 
rather short and abrupt sentences) and share the 
experience does up the ante somewhat - hey, that's 
the whole appeal of online gaming. Not 
surprisingly though, the rather monotonous and 
shallow gameplay remains unchanged and, as 
such, newcomers might not be able to see the 
appeal quite so easily. 

Of course, the gameplay problems were 

(inherent in the original Dreamcast version so 

can't be pinned squarely on the GameCube port. 
However, the fact that the updated version still 
features the disturbing pop-up of the original is 
rather worrying. It's odd that while some elements 
have been improved, something as obvious as this 
has been left untouched. Play it in multiplayer 
mode though and things get worse; entire sections 
of landscape appear out of thin air which, 
combined with the tiny screen area for each player, 
don't really do much for the atmosphere. While a 
graphical leap of epic proportions isn't exactly 
what we were expecting, we're more than a bit 
shocked -this shouldn't be happening on the 
GameCube at all. 



■ Short on energy? Need to store your cash? As long as you've got a 
Telepipe handy, you can return to the ship at any time. 

When it comes down to it, the question of 

I whether you should rush out and get Phantasy 

Star Online isn't an easy one to answer. Obviously 
it's the GameCube's first online game, which means 
it'll sell like hot cakes, but it's not exactly the most 
engrossing game on the planet. It's one of those 
games that, at times, feels like a chore to play. 
Practically every puzzle is the same (which takes a 
lot of the fun out of the game) and just when you 
think you've improved your levels enough to take 
on the bigger and better monsters, you'll discover 
that anything in the next area can batter you into 
the ground. It's like the learning curve has been 
ironed out and this can get infuriating. It's a shame 
really because as concepts go, Phantasy Star 
Online is a very nice one. If only there was actually 
some proper content behind all the showy 
loveliness, it might have been easier to get 
a bit more excited about it. 



' _ 






1 ■■" 


m 



I You're less than a metre from the enemy with a sword bigger than your 
arm. . . and yet you still miss. Could this game be any more annoying? 



VERDICT 5/10 



BOG-STANDARD ONLINE HACK 'N' SLASH. . . YAWN 



games™ 11 5 



REVIEW | THE SIMS | PLAYSTATI0N2 




El 



-SERIES] 

FORMAT REVIEWED 

Playstation2 

ORIGIN 

US 

PUBLISHER 

Electronic Arts 

DEVELOPER 

Maxis 

PRICE 

£39.99 

RELEASE 

Out Now 

PLAYERS 

1-2 



THE SIMS 

ANYONE EVER TELL YOU TO GET A LIFE? 
NOW'S YOUR CHANCE... 



jlflNGERPRINT 






UNIQUE 

«sit your home, 



! m ^cWv:Xr™ p i andmateenemi - 





I Living vicariously through your 
Sims? Why not? It's not like 
you've got a real hot tub, is it? 



en years ago, you would have been 
laughed off the face of the Earth if 
you'd said that one of the best- 
selling franchises of the future would 
entail getting a job, making friends, reading books 
and going to the toilet. In fact, even we would 
have probably been sceptical at the time... still so 
today perhaps if The Sims on the PC hadn't been 
done so well. Things did start to go wrong after 
the first game, though; numerous expansion 
packs hit the shelves and punters are still expected 
to shell out twenty notes a time for features that 
should really have been in the original game. And 
with an interface ideally suited to a mouse and 
keyboard, we've always wondered how the game 
would translate to a console controller. With the 
massive user-base of Sony's console, EA and 
Maxis were never going to miss the chance to 
bring The Sims to an even wider audience, so just 
how different are the console and PC games? 

First things first; the interface. Even without the 

I I mouse, the point-and-click gameplay works 

fairly well. Controlling a vertical beam of light, 
you're free to select items and people at any 



feed the fish'.rSe's aZ P °°'' Watch ^ 
— ^eres always somethina tA 



height - should you select 
an area where there are several items 
(accidentally or otherwise), an easily navigated 
menu is all that stands between you and your 
goal. This system is as practical as possible, but it 
can still make it fairly troublesome to get to places 
in a hurry. You still have some control over time 
as well - pausing time and speeding it up are only 
a shoulder button away. Unfortunately, the 
enhanced speeds are notably slower than those 
possible in the PC game, which means you'll 
spend a lot more time than we'd like twiddling 
your thumbs and watching your Sims sleep. 

If that weren't enough, the range of buyable 

I litems is initially restricted by a lot of furniture 

and accessories being locked. These have to be 
opened up via the new 'Get A Life' mode that 
single-handedly destroys the very purpose of The 
Sims with one fundamental flaw - objectives. 
After making your own alter-ego, you're dropped 
into numerous pre-made buildings and given a 
number of goals to reach in order to progress to 
the next 'level'. Early levels only give you control 
of a single character so you'll have to do even 



something to do. 









' 




J;v 


m - 




116 games 




I The freedom of Create-A-Sim mode is a welcome addition - customize your freaks as you see fit 











. 


nw 










i^^ 










^^ 












j, r^^ri 







■ All your Sims have delightfully bijou pads. Not sure about the interior 
design, but, y'know, what's wrong with lashings of brown paint? 

more waiting than usual. Even when you do start 
to increase your number of playable characters, it's 
still only the starting guy or girl that merits any 
attention since you'll move in with new Sims once 
all your objectives are met. If it weren't for the fact 
that this mode is the only way to unlock many of 
the game's more interesting items, it probably 
wouldn't even warrant a second look. Without total 
freedom, The Sims just isn't the same. 

Compared to other PC-to-PS2 ports, The Sims 

I I is a much more respectable effort than shoddy 

efforts such as Half-Life or Soldier Of Fortune. It's 
clear that work has gone into distancing the 
console version from the PC original but this may 
have changed the structure a little too much for its 
own good. The absence of many of the household 
objects (until you unlock them, at least) and the 
lack of the downloadable extras that kept the PC 
version from getting stale means there's not really 
enough here to hold our interest for long. If 
nothing else, we'd have liked to have seen a lot 
more of the items from the PC expansion packs 
added to the console game - several of these 
(such as the electric guitar) are available but, 
coming so long after the first PC title, this should 
have a lot more than it does. Perhaps holding The 
Sims back until Sony's online strategy is in full 




S Just be thankful for that fire alarm - if it weren't for that, you'd probably 
be short of one kitchen and one Sim by now. . . 

swing would have been a better option - it's 
amazing the longevity that a few extra items bring 
to the game. Given the series's history, we 
wouldn't be surprised to see Maxis pioneer the 
PS2 expansion disc... 

If you've ever sampled the original PC version 

I I of the game, we all but guarantee you'll be 

disappointed with the console conversion. While 
not nearly as bad as it could have been, a little too 
much effort has been put into making this a 
significantly different game. The PC version had 
the balance of everything just right and this is 
almost entirely lost in the translation. It's not that 
we fear change - it's more that we can see when 
something has changed for the worse. Fair play to 
all involved - porting The Sims to the PS2 was a 
monumental task and, for what it's worth, it hasn't 
been done badly at all. With such a reputation to 
live up to, it's hard to imagine the console version 
ever truly re-creating the experience. Newcomers 
to The Sims probably won't even notice half the 
things we've picked up on, but there's no 
denying that this game should have been 
closer to its PC namesake. 



Poi ■ 


^£iz$. 



DOUBLE LIFE 

The only real improvement over the original PC 
game is the enhancement to Sim creation 
itself. Where the home computer version 
offered a selection of pre-made parts for 
assembling a family Lego-style, the 
PlayStation2 version gives the player much 
more control over the appearance of their 
created characters. There is marginally more 
freedom with the clothing and body parts but 
the head is where most extra effort has gone. 
Far from just bolting on a prefabricated face as 
before, you get to choose from an (admittedly 
restricted) selection of faces that can be 
augmented with accessories, hairstyles and 
other alterations. While we appreciate such 
extras, the sheer fact that this is a console 
game eliminates one of the best features of 
the PC game - downloadable extras. With so 
many extra skins and items available on the 
Net, the PC game has near-infinite character 
possibilities - something sadly lacking from 
the PS2 incarnation. 



r^ ^ZCHik^b' 



I Hey, everybody's got to start somewhere, right? You'll be entertaining 
thousands in no time. . . 



VERDICT 5/10 




A DISAPPOINTING TRANSLATION OF A GREAT GAME 



J Work your Sims too hard and they'll get depressed. They won't hit the 
bottle though, which keeps costs down. . . 



games™ 11 7 



REVIEW I AUTO MODELLISTAl PLAYSTATION2 



THE ONLY RACING SIMULATION WITH A FULL-ON IDENTITY CRISIS 

AUTO MODELLISTA 



a 




FORMAT REVIEWED 

PlayStation2 
ORIGIN 
Japan 
PUBLISHER 
Capcom 
DEVELOPER 
In-House 
PRICE 
£39.99 
RELEASE 
Out Now 
PLAYERS 
1-2 



llRNGERPWNI 



el-shading seems to be the big thing 
for games developers at the 
moment if only because it can 
make even the dullest game look 
great. Take Auto Modellista, for instance - 
Capcom's attempt to create a racing game with 
flair. By using stylish eel-shaded graphics to 
render real-life cars and tracks, the game 
manages to look incredibly polished and, for want 
of a better word, fun. But while it all looks very 
snazzy, Auto Modellista sadly suffers from a split 
personality; it just can't decide what it wants to be. 

Is it an arcade speed-fest like Ridge Racer? The 

I (graphics certainly give the impression that it is, 

but the realistic physics and handling mean that it 
doesn't feel like one when you get into the actual 
races. So that means it's a driving simulator like 
Gran Turismo 3? Well, yes... and no. The main 
bulk of the game comes from the Garage Life 
mode, which does its best to mimic the in-depth 
simulation experience. However, all it amounts to 
is a meagre slice compared to the whole gateau 
that is GT3 (mmm, gateau). Yes, you can tune up 
your car and pick which races you enter, but 
rather than drawing you in and giving you 
complete control over every tiny detail, the whole 
thing feels shallow and nowhere near as 
absorbing as it should be. Maybe we're in the 
minority about this, but things as complex and 
detailed as driving sims need 
to be done as thoroughly as 
possible (as with GT3) or not 
at all - half-arsed efforts just 
end up boring the arcade 
gamers and frustrating the 
realism fanatics. 








p m ■ i il (■ ■ w . . 










I^Bfli HI 




"^""™^^ *^"""T *w 



The icing on the rather bitter-tasting cake is that 

I I the game's biggest selling-point has been 

ripped out for the PAL release - there's no online 
option. Rather than being able to play online 
straight out of the box, Capcom are planning to 
release an updated version (as well as the actual 
sequel) later in the year. Certainly, this isn 't all 
Capcom's fault as Sony's Europea(^=|e strategy 
doesn't kick in until March, but the N&cTTnat this 
release of the game isn't prepared for the launch is 
downright negligent. Considering this is from 
Capcom - a company known for its high standards 
- Auto Modellista is a surprising disappointment. It 
looks great, but some dodgy slowdown 
and a complete lack of involvement leaves 
us with a slightly sour taste in our mouths. 



I The more you race, the fancier 
your garage. Keep it tidy mind, 
or you'll lose your WD-40. 



DRIVING EMOTION 
TYPES 



VERDICT 5/10 




GRAN TURISMO 3: 
A-SPEC 




I These rain effects look lovely in all their eel-shaded glory, but they also slow you down something chronic. ■ Like the cars, many of the tracks in Auto Modellista are genuine. Here, we're off for a quick sprint around Suzuka. 



118 games™ 



REVIEW I BATTLE ENGINE AQUILA I XBOX 




I Some of the landscapes are a lot prettier than others - this snowy 
location is among the finest. 



■ Not a boss as such, but this monstrous mech is the focal point of one of the later missions. Which does make you wonder what the actual boss will look 
like. You know, cowardice isn't such a bad thing. Can we turn back now? 



BATTLE ENGINE AQUILA 

TAKING THE NAME OF ROBOTS IN DISGUISE IN VAIN? OPTIMUS 
PRIME WOULD BE TURNING IN HIS GRAVE... 



m 




FORMAT REVIEWED 

Xbox 




ver since Transformers hit our 
screens way back in the day, it's 
been cool to be a big robot with the 
ability to change shape. Loads of 
games have featured such ideas but precious few 
have based their main vehicles upon it, which is 
just what Battle Engine Aquila does. Dropped in at 
the deep end, Hawk Aquila finds himself in the 
unenviable position of having the fate of a nation 
on his shoulders. He is forced to take the controls 
of the Battle Engine, a super-powerful prototype 
vehicle capable of land and air travel and packed 
with deadly weapons. So what can Lost Toys offer 
us with this that other games have lacked? 
Actually, nothing at all... 

Lets get the best bits out of the way first. The 
mission branching system is very nice - sure, 
it doesn't come close to the likes of Colony Wards 
evolving missions but it's a decent effort 
nonetheless. The game is also pretty simple to 
control, although you'll probably find that you 
want to spend most of your time in the sky, as it's 
so much quicker than land travel. So with the 
good bits accounted for, it's all downhill from 
here. Battle Engine is not an awful game; blasting 
away at hundreds of enemies is fun for a while, 



but herein lies the game's main flaw- it's 
unbelievably repetitive. There are only so many 
tasks you can actually perform, so it's not long 
before you grow tired of shooting down bombers 
or defending convoys. Visually, the Xbox version 
is by far the strongest, throwing around the extra 
effects and animations sadly lacking from the PS2 
version; the frame rate is also more stable on the 
Microsoft machine but is still far from perfect. 

As a simple and fairly enjoyable bout of short- 
term stress release, Aquila is as good as they 
come. The problem for us is that from any other 
viewpoint, Battle Engine falls short. Sure, there's 
plenty to unlock and the grading system adds 
some degree of replay value, as does the 
multiplayer mode (Versus and Co-op are available 
- the latter is another praiseworthy inclusion) but 
it's ultimately a very shallow experience. If you're 
in desperate need of a shooting fix and are done 
with (or can't be doing with) TimeSplitters 
2, Battle Engine Aquila might just be 
worth a look. But only just. 




The biggest difference is the 
graphics -the PS2 version 
looks scrappy next to Xbox's 
crisp textures. And we reckon 
the Xbox controller is better 
suited to the game. 



VERDICT 5/10 




SOME NICE IDEAS CANT SAVE THIS REPETITIVE SHOOTER 



PHANTOM CRASH 



games™ 119 



REVIEW I IKARUGA I GAMECUBE 




I Ikaruga features some of the biggest explosions ever seen in a 
videogame. Which can only be a good thing. 



AS CRAZY AS IT MAY SOUND, BLACK AND 
WHITE HAS NEVER SEEMED SO COLOURFUL 

IKARUGA 



Q 




FORMAT REVIEWED 

GameCube 
ORIGIN 
Japan 
PUBLISHER 
Infogrames 
DEVELOPER 
Treasure 
PRICE 

£39.99 (Import) 
RELEASE 
Out Now 

PLAYERS 

1-2 




reasure has had quite a bumpy time 
of it these past few years - after 
producing some of the most glorious 
titles of the 16- and 32-bit eras, many 
saw Saturn shooter Radiant Silvergun as the 
beginning of the end for the quirky Japanese 
developer. Sub-standard titles like Freak Out 
certainly did nothing to help Treasure's cause and it 
wasn't until late last year that its reputation was 
saved by an obscure Japanese vertical shooter by 
the name of Ikaruga. Going back to what it did 
best, Treasure managed to create a game that 
encompassed breathtaking visuals, ingenious 
gameplay and, above all, a level of simplicity and 
payability to rival even Pong. Now that game has 
come home to Nintendo's latest machine and with 
Treasure offering GameCube gamers both Wario 
World and Ikaruga, it looks as if the outcast 
developer has found a new home. Unfortunately, it 
looks unlikely that we'll actually see this gem on 
these shores; there are currently no plans for an 
official US or European release. 

The premise is simple; your ship can either be 

I black or white, changeable at the touch of a 

button. Enemies share the same colouration 
options and fire off bullets of their colour - these 
must be avoided or, if your ship is currently the 
same colour, absorbed. The twist is that enemies 
take double damage from the opposite colour, but 
this is a risky business. Put into context, say you 
happen upon a huge white enemy - by staying 
white, you'll take no damage from its projectiles 



and inflict minor damage, but turn black and you'll 
be dodging like the best of them for the rest of 
your foe's short lifespan. It's this that really sets 
Ikaruga apart from the competition. After so many 
weapons bonanzas and slowdown-riddled 
extravagances, Treasure really has stripped the 
formula down to the bare bones and with 
remarkable success. 

Having been built as a visually impressive game, 

I the transfer to more powerful hardware has not 

been difficult. As a result, Ikaruga looks like a top- 
notch Dreamcast game, but then again there aren't 
that many GameCube games that couldn't be 
accused of this. Still very pretty, Ikaruga certainly 
looks and sounds the part - it's amazing that such 
varied enemies and environments have been 
designed around the basic colour scheme. It's not 
all button-mashing blasting either, as this is one of 
the few shooters where you actually have to use 
your head. Switching colours and diving through 
laser gates, carving paths through coloured blocks, 
working out how to defeat the massive bosses... all 
are welcome diversions from the trigger-happy 
shooters we've grown used to. You also have to 
pay attention to your Special meter - as you absorb 
the correct colour bullets, the bar will build until 
you can unleash a special multiple homing shot 
which only increases the thinking elements. You 
won't be just dodging shots after a few hours with 
this little beauty... 



Q. HOW MANY 
STAGES? 

Five stages may not 
sound much, but they 
don't come much more 
challenging than this. 

Q. WHAT WEAPONS? 

Just the two starters but 
each can be either black 
or white - simplicity is 
very much order of 
the day. 

Q. EXTRA FEATURES? 

Several galleries are 
unlocked after a specific 
amount of playing time 
is accumulated or certain 
tasks are completed. 



SILPHEED: THE 
LOST PLANET 




CASTLE OF SHIKIGAMI 



120 games™ 



■ Strap me down 
and call me Susan 
if that isn't the 
largest, most 
impressive boss in 
the world. Ever. 




I'VE GOT YOUR BACK 

It's not until you begin to play two-player 

mode that you realise just how incredible 

Ikaruga really is. Entirely different tactics 

are required during co-operative play; one 

player can take the colour of the enemies 

and stay forward absorbing shots while 

the second hides behind them, spraying 

streams of the opposite colour. This 

strategy is particularly effective on the 

massive bosses who are only really 

damaged by the opposite colour (always 

more difficult to use in single player mode). 

Of course, the 'every man for himself 

approach still works too, but teamwork is 

more likely to prolong your lifespan. 

Ikaruga has the gift of a multiplayer mode 

that is just as appealing as solo play. 



Black or white? Sometimes it's hard to decide but indecision will be 
the death of you, as our mothers used to say. 



In terms of play modes, the menu is just as 

I I simple as the gameplay. No translation is 

required to get into Normal and Prototype modes; 
the former is the main game while Prototype allows 
new players to get to grips with the game by 
offering the first couple of sections on Free Play. 
When it comes to the main game, we've never seen 
such variety between three difficulty settings. It's 
almost like three separate modes rather than skill 
levels, but of course some are far harder than 
others. In Easy mode, defeated enemies disappear 
without a trace, but step it up a notch and it gets a 
bit more interesting. Normal enemies release a 
volley of self-coloured shots when defeated by the 
same colour, while on Hard mode all enemies erupt 
in a burst of projectiles however they are defeated. 
On top of that, killing three opponents of the same 
colour in quick succession builds up Chains - these 
are the only way to hit big points and get those 
much-needed 1-Ups. 



Ikaruga's appeal in today's market must be 

I somewhat limited - a casual gamer would 

probably be put off by the lack of extra guns, 
modes and levels, leaving the game to just the 
hard-core importers. Even then, the sheer difficulty 
of it is enough to scare off even a hardened 
shooter nut. This is a shame, as Ikaruga is the 
most obvious test of pure skill we've seen in a 
videogame for years. Incredibly tough and as 
addictive as any console game, we're just glad we 
never happened upon the coin-op machine - the 
amount of coins that we'd have pumped in would 
have been enough to buy our own arcade 
complete with swimming pool and helipad. After 
wave after wave of third rate shooters trying to go 
one bigger and better than their rivals, Ikaruga 
takes the vertical shooter formula back to its roots. 
In doing so, Treasure has added its own unique 
twist and proved beyond all doubt that less is 
certainly more. 




■ The action is relentless, particularly when you reach later levels. And 
is that purple rain? But it probably wasn't what Prince was on about. 



VERDICT O/10 



Si 



THE VERTICAL SHOOTER RISES FROM THE GRAVE IN STYLE 



games™ 121 



REVIEW I APE ESCAPE 2 I PLAYSTATI0N2 




I Creeping up on the apes is all well and good until they spot you. ■ Look out for the long-lost brother of Fred the Homepride sauce man 



APE ESCAPE 2 

AND YOU THOUGHT ONLY NINTENDO COULD MAKE CATCHING SMALL CREATURES FUN. 



El 
+SE3H 

FORMAT REVIEWED 

PlayStation2 
ORIGIN 
Japan 
PUBLISHER 

SCEE 



DEVELOPER 

In-House 
PRICE 
£39.99 
RELEASE 

Out Now 

PLAYERS 

1-2 




onkeys, apes, primates. . . whatever. 
The simple truth is that everyone 
loves monkeys. Don't pretend you 
don't, it's as clear as day that if you 
put a monkey in a game, it'll sell. But now we 
come to a dilemma. In a game such as this with 
so many cheeky chimps running around, are we 
to experience monkey Nirvana or could it be a 
case of too much of a good thing? Thankfully, 
Ape Escape 2 is more like the former; Sony's 
simian sequel takes the innovations of its 
predecessor and expands them into what is easily 
one of the better platformers on the PlayStation2. 
Following the monkey mind-control events of the 
first game, Ape Escape 2 starts with the nightmare 
beginning anew; head honcho Specter returns 
with countless cheeky monkeys to do his evil 
bidding. With your trusty Gotcha Net in hand, you 
must guide Hikaru around the world to recapture 
the naughty apes. 

As before, there are stacks of gadgets to aid 

I you on your travels, ranging from the Water 

Pistol (for putting out fires or spinning 
waterwheels) to old favourites such as the RC Car 
for chasing chimps out of tight spaces. More 
noticeably, the apes themselves are a lot more 
varied and themed according to the level - you'll 
have matador monkeys taunting you in the 
Spanish level and kung-fu apes doing their thing 



in the Ninja Temple. Other more nondescript 
primates all have different personalities as well - 
pretending to be trees, hiding in small holes and 
running like cowards to avoid your net. The Dual 
Stick control is as good as ever - it's perhaps a 
little loose for some, but it's certainly not a difficult 
game to play. 

Our main complaint with Ape Escape 2 is that it 

I lean get a little repetitive and frustrating in 

places. Despite beautifully varied locales, ingenious 
gadgets and some great comedy moments, there's 
still no variety in your actual tasks. Don't get us 
wrong, that doesn't make it bad. In fact, if you 
haven't tired of the action after the first few levels, 
you'll more than likely play and thoroughly enjoy 
the rest of the game. With several mini-games 
(including a Dance Dance Revolution-inspired 
affair), the Gotcha Box (a lottery of the game's 
secrets), Time Attack and other rewards for multiple 
completions, you can't accuse Ape Escape 2 of 
being malnourished -getting everything will take 
you weeks. The cutesy visuals are very much 
representative of the game itself- while it 
won't appeal to everyone, it's still a pure and 
uncomplicated joy. 



BLINX: THE TIME 
SWEEPER 






VERDICT 7/10 




GREAT FUN, BUT NEEDS MORE VARIETY 



SUPER MARIO SUNSHINE 



122 games 



REVIEW I TOEJAM & EARL III I XBOX 



AFTER MORE THAN TEN YEARS, TOEJAM AND EARL HAVE RETURNED, FUNKY AS EVER 

TOEJAM & EARL 

MISSION TO EARTH 



n 

FORMAT REVIEWED 

Xbox 






DEVELOPER 

ToeJam & Earl 
Productions 



$49.99 (£32) 
RELEASE 

2003 TBC (Japan: 
TBA, US: Out Now) 

PLAYERS 

1-2 



espite only ever receiving average 
reviews, the original ToeJam & Earl 
built up a substantial cult following 
when it was released on the 
MegaDrive in 1991. Two funky aliens searching 
abstract worlds for pieces of their spaceship was a 
novel idea, but was only ever going to appeal to a 
few gamers. Of course, the title was never aimed at 
the mass-market and neither is this sequel. 
Unfortunately, things have moved on over the 
past 10 years and, while ToeJam & Earl ///certainly 
achieves what it sets out to do, it feels a little 
dated compared to the other adventure games 
on offer today. 

The first thing you notice about the new 
instalment in this series is just how great the 
characterisations are. The game starts with an FMV 
sequence of the two stars recording a home movie 
about their forthcoming adventure, during which 
they introduce newcomer Latisha. The witty 
language and hip-hop influences give the game a 
flavour quite unlike anything else. Sadly, the 
technical side of this introduction is all over the 
place - polygon counts are low and the visual 
clarity leaves a lot to be desired. The introduction is, 
of course, only a tiny portion of the game and, 



aside from one or two other minor niggles, the rest 
of what's on offer is much more accomplished. The 
main crux of the gameplay is to collect the 12 
Sacred Albums Of Funk, which have been stolen 
from the planet Funkotron and scattered around a 
strangely eccentric representation of Earth. Even 
stranger are the violent human inhabitants that 
dwell there - little girls who ask to see your wallet, 
cheerleaders that shake their pompoms at you and 
Santa Funk, who's always talking about his three 
hoes. It's all very gimmicky, as are the myriad 
power-ups hidden around the levels. 

Unfortunately, gimmicks can only last so long, 
and once you've had a laugh at the witty 
speech, tried out a few of the power-ups and 
listened to the Soul Sisters singing about funk a 
few dozen times, it all starts to drag. If you're a fan 
of the original Mega Drive games, or you're looking 
for a little light refreshment, then you'll probably 
love TJ&EIII. But if you're looking for 
depth, variation and ingenuity, then look 
elsewhere because you won't find it here. 



TYTHETASMAMAN 
TIGER 



VERDICT 5/10 




CERTAINLY VERY FUNNY, BUT NOT TO EVERYONE'S TASTE 



BLINX: THE TIME 
SWEEPER 



^m 



J^ — ■ * 



I Wander off in different directions in the two-player mode and the 
screen splits horizontally to give you a better view of the action. 







TJ&EIII is one of the first games to support Xbox Live. Find this 
muscleman and download extra levels free of charge. 



i Just like the original games, TJ&EIII includes a selection of comedy power-ups - use these spring shoes to boing your way into secret areas. And be 
prepared to find a lot of things with the word 'funk' in their title. Those of a non-disco persuasion may not be impressed. 



games™ 123 



REVIEW | THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: A LINK TO THE PAST | GAME BOY ADVANCE 




THE BEST ZELDA GAME MADE PORTABLE AND MULTIPLAYER? PINCH US... 

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: A 



FIEI 



FORMAT REVIEWED 

Game Boy Advance 
ORIGIN 
Japan 
PUBLISHER 
Nintendo 
DEVELOPER 
In-House 
PRICE 
£29.99 
RELEASE 
Out Now 
PLAYERS 
1-4 





top the press! You can now play 
old Super Nintendo games on 
your Game Boy Advance... what 
do you mean? This is old news? 
Curses, you'll be telling us you know that 
GameCube Zelda's gone all eel-shaded next. 
Yes, Link's seminal adventure is available in a more 
portable form than ever before. Chances are, most 
of you are familiar with this classic already - it's 
widely regarded as Link's finest hour and even 
today it's crystal clear why it has such a following. 
For the uninitiated among you, A Link To The Past 
puts you in the shoes of a young Link. Following 
the epic and twisted story of his struggle to defeat 
a tyrannical wizard, the journey spans numerous 
dungeons and trials with an incredible range of 
equipment on offer to aid your quest. As one of the 
finest games available on the Super Nintendo 
more than ten years ago, is Link's ageing 
adventure as fresh today as his Game Boy- 
exclusive outings? 

The first hurdle we had to clear was probably 

I the biggest -were we enjoying the game for 

what it was, or were we enjoying it out of sheer 



nostalgia? Suffice to say, it didn't take long for us to 
be reminded that A Link To The Past is, was, and 
continues to be, a remarkable game. With there 
being very little difference between the graphical 
power of the SNES and the GBA, the game has 
been perfectly translated across to the handheld. 
While these visuals are every bit as good as they 
ever were, we were shocked by the sound quality - 
in a good way, of course. This is the one area of 
the game that has been upgraded. On top of all the 
original sound clips, samples from Ocarina Oflime 
have been used to make Link scream and shout as 
he swings his sword, falls down holes and 
generally does his adventuring thing. 

The payability is every bit as good as we 
remember. If anything, the different button 
layout is not quite as functional as its SNES 
counterpart but there's very little in it. Apart from 
sound updates and a few slight text and gameplay 
tweaks, there have been few notable changes to 
the main game - the only obvious updates are the 
multiplayer-only Four Swords adventure and an 
extra dungeon (although you need to finish the 
multiplayer quest to access it). Four Swords sees 



BREATH OF FIRE 




POKEMON CRYSTAL 



124 games 



EXTRA LINKAGE 

A Link To The Past isn't the straight port people 
expected when it was first revealed. Aside from 
the Four Swords multiplayer quest, a whole 
new dungeon has been added to the main 
game. This only opens once you've finished 
both the normal quest and the multiplayer 
adventure, but once you've done so you'll find a 
whole host of obstacles in what is arguably the 
hardest dungeon in the game. There are also 
some little changes - Link has a few extra sound 
effects, some of the text has been slightly 
modified, arrows can now break pots and the 
Lantern (the only item you have at the start of 
the game) can now do damage to enemies. 
Link's not as defenceless as he used to be. . . 




LINK TO THE PAST 



up to four players teaming up on a dungeoneering 
quest where co-operation is essential for success. 
While this sounds like an incredible concept (and, 
to some extent, it is), the lifespan is something of a 
letdown -four wholly enjoyable but fairly small 
mini-quests. Sure, with four Links tearing up a 
dungeon it really makes for a beautiful experience 
but when was the last time you played four-player 
GBA link-up? That's pretty much what we thought. 

Our main gripe is an obvious one but it's still of 

I some concern. We've already finished this 

game several times (no, not on the Game Boy). 
Having completed the SNES version, can we really 
justify forking out thirty English pounds to play 
through it again? When you consider that you 
could probably pick up both a SNES and a copy of 
the original for less than the price of the GBA 
game, it really does make you stop and think 
before parting with your cash. On one hand, A Link 
To The Past is still a great game and those who 
haven't had the opportunity to play it to completion 
can now do so on the move. On the other, anyone 
aside from Zelda fanatics and newcomers probably 
won't see this as a sound investment, despite the 



new features. As good as the game may be, it's still 
an old Super Nintendo title at heart and should be 
treated as such. 

Is it so wrong for us to want all-new Mario and 
Zelda titles for the GBA? We're aware that 
Nintendo has its hands full with its key GameCube 
titles but we're growing tired of the ports. Mario 
Advance 4 looks set to be worse still - a £30 port of 
a NES game, however good, is shocking. If the next 
titles in these popular series aren't original games, 
we fear for the state of the GBA market. There's not 
nearly enough new material on show and, worse 
still, much of the fresh stuff is not up to scratch. 
This handheld really needs strong new titles if it is 
to continue to sell; the likes of Pokemon and 
Golden Sun 2 will no doubt do the business but 
there's no question that a new Zelda or Mario title 
would shift hardware in unbelievable numbers. 
That's not to say that this won't sell - we're all too 
aware that avid fans will lap it up for multiplayer 
alone, but as nice as it may be, this feature just 
strikes us as being a cunning way of selling 
more copies of a ten-year-old game that 
should have been an all-new adventure. 



I Chickens seem to be a recurring theme in Zelda games. Poultry fans 
will be overjoyed to hear that they're still present 




I One of several mini-games, this chest-guessing diversion can make or 
break you in minutes. 



VERDICT /IP 



Si 



ANOTHER SNES PORT, BUT HARD TO CRITICISE OTHERWISE 



games™ 125 



REVIEW I SLY COOPER AND THE THIEVIUS RACCOONUS 



SIrngerprint- 




I A super-sneaky master thief move in operation. Staying out of sight is the key to getting through each level safely. 



I Ingeniously, this wooden barrel is a shield against dart guns. Stylish and practical. 



aa 



+5E3B 

FORMAT REVIEWED 

PlayStation2 

ORIGIN 

US 

PUBLISHER 

SCEE 

DEVELOPER 

Sucker Punch 

PRICE 

£39.99 

RELEASE 

Out Now 

PLAYERS 

1 



SLY COOPER AND THE 
THIEVIUS RACCOONUS 

FLEA-RIDDEN RODENTS HAVE NEVER LOOKED SO PUR-DEE 






eeing as how originality in 
videogames is pretty much dead 
and buried (hey, it's a fact - don't 
shoot the messenger), it's not 
exactly shocking to see developers mixing genres 
in order to come up with something new. We can 
see the executive meeting now; a group of 
impeccably-suited gentlemen, sitting around a 
large oak table pulling genres out of a hat. 
Adventure plus... sports! Been there, done that 
with Dark Summit. Shoot-'em-up mixed with... 
RPG! Thank you, Phantom Crash. But combining 
Action, Platform and Stealth all at once? Nah... 
that'll never work. 

Actually, it does - especially when served with 

I I a decent dose of the games industry's flavour 

of the month, eel-shaded graphics. Considering 
that the Platform/Adventure genre has come on 
leaps and bounds in recent years (mostly with the 
help of titles like Ratchet And Clank), Sly Cooper is 
one of the most fantastic-looking and well-acted 
games of its kind. Naturally, the plot only serves 
to set up the action - a family of thieves has their 
prized book stolen by an evil gang, so you've got 
to recover its pages from a selection of safes - but 
in having the star as a cartoon-styled master thief 
(and a raccoon at that), Sony has paved the way 
for all manner of stylish set-pieces and spoofs - 
the obvious mickey-taking of Metal Gear Solids 
Codex sections, the super-sneaky master thief 
moves, the impressive voice-acting in each cut- 
scene... combined with the extremely fluid eel- 
shaded animation, they all work a treat and create 
a fairly enjoyable experience. 



But while it certainly looks like the best 

I I platformer around, Sly Cooper does suffer 

some problems, mainly because, like Sony's last 
attempt at creating a platform mascot with Crash 
Bandicoot, the game is rather linear. Yes, there are 
opportunities to take a slight detour when it comes 
to collecting clue bottles but, generally, you're only 
going in one direction. The replay value of trying 
to open every safe might be enough to bring you 
back a couple of times, but the game beneath is a 
little basic compared to the flashy visuals on top. 
Sly Cooper certainly looks the business, 
but, in the end, the graphics write cheques 
that the gameplay can't cash. 



VERDICT 6/10 



GORGEOUS TO WATCH, BUT RATHER LINEAR IN PLACES 



■ Sly can use his cane to 

swing from overhead 

objects -the faster you 

move the Analogue 

Stick, the further he'll fly 

when you let go. 




126 games 



REVIEW I STAR WARS: BOUNTY HUNTER I PLAYSTATION2 



ALL OUR CHILDHOOD DREAMS SHATTERED IN AN INSTANT 



Sctsrprint 



STAR WARS: I 
BOUNTY HUNTER 



,n 9 'n the right 



^SK^ ufefac 



P«T PAFF POFK Beh :T'" enemfes is tagh. 
"^"wtag into them. 



a 







FORMAT REVIEWED 

Playstation2 
ORIGIN 
US 

PUBLISHER 
Activision 
DEVELOPER 
LucasArts 
PRICE 
£39.99 

RELEASE 

Out Now 

PLAYERS 



I Jango - you've let us down, 
you've let yourself down. . . 




hen we were young, we always 
wanted to be Boba Fett; that 
fearsome bounty hunter who 
had his own rocket pack, 
didn't have to say a word to be menacing 
and was just so damn cool it hurt. Leap 
nearly two decades into the present and we 
discover that someone has decided to make a 
videogame where you can actually 'be' a Fett. 
Okay, it's Jango, not Boba - but like father, like 
son, eh? Finally, our dreams have come true, 
right? Well, no, not really. In fact, the whole thing 
has turned into a bit of a nightmare. 

You see, while the premise of Star Wars: 
_J Bounty Hunter sounds amazing on paper - 
and indeed, it did when LucasArts first announced 
it - the game actually turns out to be, in a word, 
arse. In fact, there's too much wrong with it for 
words; the graphics look dated (despite being on 
a next-gen console), the controls are clumsy, the 
level design is confusing and the whole thing 




smacks of a cash-in rather than a quality title. 
There are far too many times where you'll be 
trudging through a level, not knowing where to 
go next. With no guidance aside from some 
rather vague mission goals to achieve, you'll be 
fed up before you know it. 

Even the promise of additional bounties to 

I I collect turns out to be annoying and 

uninspired. Rather than offering bonus side- 
missions as we expected, you'll find a set number 
of extra renegades wandering through each level; 
that means you have to scan each and every 
character you come across, just to discover if 
they're wanted or not. This is almost bearable in a 
normal situation, but trying to scan individuals in 
a crowd of hostile enemies is nigh-on impossible. 
What's most gutting about Bounty Hunter though 
is that the whole thing feels like Jango doesn't 
even need to be there - they could have stuck 
any loveable rogue/hired gun in there as the lead 
character and it'd feel exactly the same. It's 
almost as if LucasArts have stuck in a much- 
respected character just to secure sales - but 
they'd never do that, would they? 

To be frank, Bounty Hunter is remarkably 

I I below par. Certainly, it's not the worst example 

of a Star Wars game (you have only to look at 
Star Wars: Demolition for that), but the fact that 
this game will sell off the back of a popular 
character, rather than the quality of the 
game, is a real con. We wouldn't touch it 
with your Gaffi Stick, let alone ours. 



VERDICT 3/10 



THIS ISNT THE GAME YOU'RE LOOKING FOR - MOVE ALONG 



GAMECUBE 




Although some of the 
graphics look a bit nicer on 
the GameCube, the gameplay 
remains just as lacklustre and 
annoying. As you'd expect, 
polishing a turd doesn't make 
it smell any better. 










* m \ *.■»»_ 













I Jango loses his jetpack at the start of the game - once you've 
managed to get it back, you can get even more frustrated. 



I Dual lightsabers against a pair of piddling blasters - hardly a fair fight. 
Still, we've suffered enough just getting to this last battle. . . 



I Hunting down additional bounties sounds like a nice touch, but having 
to scan every character you run into gets tiring very quickly. 



games™ 127 




jfiESiJlttlUK 






LWSEEL 




imsss. 





A PARAGON PUBUCATION 

NO.2 JANUARY 2003 



OQp 



cjjjj.?:*.?. 



SHOCKING FUTURISTIC ACTION 
OR A LOAD OF OLD BALLS? 



RICK 



»7iUVn^;Wi^ 






\ 



THE BFTMAP 
BROTHERS 

VIDEOGAME FAME 



GAME OVER 

CLASSIC END SEQUENCES 







Kf>. 



W* 



THIS MONTH IN 1986 

PIXELLATED PLEASURES FROM THE 80s! 



THE GAMES THAT 
TIME FORGOT 

WE REPLAY WHERE TIME STOOD STILL 
TO SEE IF IT REALLY HAS! 



PLUS CLASSIC GAMING ADS! 



S^LASbl 




/ UK CHARTS 
J FOR JAN 1986 L 

1: West End Girls 

Pet Shop Boys 

2: Hit That Perfect Beat 

Bronski Beat 

3: The Sun Always Shines 

On TV 
A-Ha 

4: Saving All My Love For You 
Whitney Houston 
5: Saturday Love 
Cherelle & Alexander O'Neal 
6: Girlie Girlie 
Sophia George 
7: Merry Christmas 
Everyone 
Shakin' Stevens 
8: Walk Of Life 
Dire Straits 
9: Walking In The Air 
Aled Jones 
10: You Little Thief 
Feargal Sharkey 



This was arguably the 
golden age of 
videogames. Granted, 
we were all still playing 
with relatively archaic 
home systems, but 
these were heady days 
indeed and whilst the 
titles of the day may 
have lacked the flashy 
sounds and visuals of 
today's games, we 
made up for this 
with our imaginations. 
Things would only 
go downhill from 
here... 



SPECTRUM TOP TEN 
BY GALLUP 



1 : The Way Of The Exploding Fist 

2: Daley Thompson's Super Test 

3: Fairlight 

4: Fighting Warrior 

5: Frank Bruno's Boxing 

6: Graham Gooch's Test Cricket 

7: Shadow of the Unicorn 

8: Impossible Mission 

9: Bored of the Rings 

10: Sorderon's Shadow 



COMMODORE 64 TOP 
TEN BY GALLUP 



1:SpyVsSpy2: 

The Island Caper 
2: Frank Bruno's Boxing 
3: Summer Games 2 
4: The Way Of The Exploding Fist 
5: Who Dares Wins 2 
6: Sky Fox 
7: Barry McGuigan World 

Championship 
8: Karateka 
9: BEACH HEAD II 
10: Blackwyche 



WORLD NEWS 



The year of 1 986 was 
unfortunately plagued by a 
number of disasters, not least 
of which was the explosion at the 
Chernobyl nuclear power station in 
May. January of that year was also 
struck by misfortune when the 




Challenger space shuttle blew up 73 
seconds after takeoff. Among the 
seven astronauts on board was 
schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe, 
who'd been chosen in a special 
NASA scheme aimed at allowing 
ordinary people into space. 

The cause of the catastrophe was 
believed to be a malfunction in one 
of the booster rocket that started a 
fire. The blaze caused the shuttle's 
fuel tanks to explode, resulting in 
one of the most memorably tragic 
moments of the Eighties. 

Those who were around at the 
time are unlikely to ever forget the 
harrowing images that were 
broadcast around the globe. 



GAMING NEWS JANUARY '86 



B 



I y January 1986, the UK games 
market was really getting into 
its stride. Original games such 
as Fairlight by The Edge and Saboteur 
from Durell were doing good 
business, but perhaps the defining 
moment of this period was the coin-op 
conversion coming of age. British 
firms had previously been happy to 
knock out thinly-veiled clones of 
arcade hits, but they now began to 
acquire the home distribution rights 
for the genuine article. 

Two standout conversions 
included Elite's excellent port of 
Capcom's Commando and Imagine's 
(who had become Ocean by this 
point) solid conversion of Konami's 
Yie Ar Kung-Fu. Whilst it wasn't a 
new concept, the film/TV show tie-in 
was also becoming more of an 
industry staple, with the then prolific 
Ocean tempting gamers with ads for 
Street Hawk and V. 

These were crazy days indeed and 
if you couldn't snag a good film 
licence then anything would do, a 
case in point being the now defunct 
Martech's release of Geoff Cape's 
Strongman - think Hyper Sports with 
a bearded ex-policeman as the 
central character. In spite of all this, 
the humble text-based adventure 
genre was still struggling on, with 
firms such as Ocean (natch) releasing 
a passable videogame interpretation 
of The NeverEnding Story. 

As the videogame market 



expanded from its cottage industry 
roots, so too did the coverage of 
games within the specialist press. By 
this time programme listings and 
other such tedium (like articles 
explaining how to do your accounts 
on a computer) were thankfully all 
but a distant memory. 

Instead, titles such as Computer & 
Videogames, Crash and Zzapl 64 now 
focused almost entirely on gaming. In 
some ways this was the golden age 
of the 8-bit home computer in the UK, 
and by Christmas of 1987 the 8-bit 
consoles such as the Master System 
and NES, coupled with the 16-bit 
Amiga and Atari ST, would herald the 
end of the Spectrum and 
Commodore 64 era. 

That said, the 8-bit computers 
didn't give up without a fight and 
continued to enjoy a decent trickle of 
software support from the likes of 
Ocean (natch, again) up until the 
early Nineties. 




Elite's quality home conversion of Capcom's 
Commando was one of many hit ports doing the 
rounds during this period. 



132 




SABOTEUR 

Format: Spectrum 
Publisher: Durell 

This was arguably Durell's 
finest hour. Taking control of 
a highly skilled ninja your task 
was to infiltrate a high-security 
building, steal a secret disk, blow 
the place up and get the hell out 
(before the place blew up, 
obviously). The game's popularity 
ensured a sequel (Saboteur II: 
Avenging Angel), in which you 
controlled a female operative. 




SIR FRED 

Format: Spectrum 
Publisher: Mikro-Gen 

This enjoyable 
action/adventure title came 
from Mikro-Gen -the same 
people who gave us the Wally 
series of games - although it was 
actually programmed by three 
Spanish coders. Controlling the 
eponymous hero, it was your task 
to (gasp!) rescue a princess. The 
action centred more on puzzle 
solving as opposed to the 
platform leaping action of Jet Set 
Willy. Good fun, and worth 
having a look at on emulation. 



YIE AR KUNG-FU 

Format: Spectrum, Amstrad, 
Commodore 64, BBC 
Publisher: Imagine 

The premise of Yie Ar Kung-Fu 
was simple: take control of a 
young fighter called Oolong and 
punch or kick the hell out of a 
number of varied opponents. 
Only the omission of a two-player 
mode (something the coin-op 
itself lacked) let things down, but 
the game was a huge success. 




SPELLBOUND 

Format: Spectrum 
Publisher: Mastertronic 

The sequel to Finders Keepers, 
Spellbound saw you 
controlling Magic the knight. You 
had to rescue Gimbal the wizard 
and seven other characters who'd 
been trapped in the Castle of Karn 
after a failed experiment to make 
rice pudding taste nicer (no, really). 
It played much like its forbear, but 
was visually superior and 
introduced a 'dynamic' new menu 
system called Windimation. 




I OF THE MASK 

Format: Spectrum 
Publisher: Electric Dreams 

A peculiar title from Electric 
Dreams, which was coded 
by Sandy 'Ant Attack! White. You 
controlled a little guy who ran 
around a maze trying to assemble 
the components of an all- 
powerful robot. The game's 3D 
graphics were ahead of their time 
and / Of The Mask has a strangely 
playable quality today. C&VG 
described the game environment 
as a "Hitchcock-style maze". Eh? 
Answers on a postcard... 




SWORDS AND 
SORCERY 

Format: Spectrum 

Publisher: PSS 
" fairly early RPG that 
i involved exploring a 



featured a fairly deep user- 
interface that allowed you to not 
only fight the various denizens of 
the dungeon, but also interact 
with them in other ways. In 
addition to this there were traps 
to contend with and simplistic 
puzzles to solve. While it may 
appear basic by today's 
standards, Swords And Sorcery 
was cutting-edge stuff back then. 



f* 



I I - LLiU^ 



4-PH 

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r.- ~^ 



~ 



I 



This wasn't really one of the most 
memorable months for quality 
arcade games. . . 

In a month of fairly lacklustre 
titles, there were a few stand-out 
games. SEGA gave us Choplifter, 
a game that required you to fly 
around in a helicopter picking up 
imprisoned comrades (almost like 
Defender on steroids, if you will 
Tatsumi's Buggy Boy (aka Speed 
Buggy) also made an appearance 
in UK arcades this month. The 
machine came in two styles - one 
was a straightforward upright 
cabinet, whilst the deluxe model 
featured a three-screen display 
that gave the player a panoramic 
view of the action. Elite would 
later successfully convert the title 
to the 8-bit home systems, with 
the Commodore 64 version 
proving to be a particularly 
entertaining game. 

Aside from these it was pretty 
much business as usual with 
distinctly average titles such as 
Knuckle Joe and The Legend Of 
Kage squeezing the pips out of the 
martial arts genre. However, whilst 
the arcade scene started off with 
something of a whimper in 1986, 
it would gain momentum later in 
the year with some memorable 
titles arriving within the next few 
months - not least of which was 
SEGA's magnificent Out Run. 



~ 



'"",. Sv 




Some versions of Buggy BoyhaA three screens 
for panoramic offroad action. Gripped! Sotted! 




Chopliftersavj you saving your mates with your 
big chopper (© Dominik Diamond, probably). 



133 





Each month we take a look back at games we 
thought were good at the time, but were actually a bit 
well, you know.... This month we dispel the myth that 
Pole Position is an all time classic. 



POLE POSITION 



To be fair, Namco's 1982 racing game 
was undoubtedly influential in terms of 
the evolution of the driving game 
genre. With its vibrant visual style, speech 
and fast-paced action the game made most 
racing titles that had gone before it look 
positively anaemic. 

Driving around the Fuji Speedway in your 
Indy Car seemed like enormous fun at the 
time, especially if you were playing in the 
sit-down cabinet. However, the driving 
genre has come on leaps and bounds in 
the 20 years since Pole Position first 
appeared. Yet while we happily acknowledge the game's 
significance within the genre, we do take exception to those nostalgic fools (and 
yes, they are out there) who claim "it's still the definitive driving game". For those 
of you still suffering from this delusion then we recommend you have a quick play 
of the title today. 

You might just find an old cabinet tucked away in the dark recesses of a seaside 
arcade. Failing that, you can experience the game on a number of formats as part 
of the Namco Museum compilation packs. So we'll give you ten minutes to go 
and play it. Back? How did you find that handling? It's a little bit twitchy, isn't it? 
Come to think of it, did you have any fun whilst playing the game? Thought not. 
Of course, we don't want to start criticising old games for being, erm, old games, 
but there's no escaping the fact that Pole Position has had its day. SEGA's Out Run 
on the other hand is quite a different matter. Indeed, driving along with Splash 
Wave or Magical Sound Shower playing in the background remains one of the 
great gaming experiences. 






GAMES THAT TIME FORGOT... 

Why do people insist on harping on about retro games without 
mentioning classics like these? 



WHERE TIME STOOD STILL 



Format: Spectrum 128K, 
Atari ST, PC 
Publisher: Ocean 
Developer: Denton 
Designs 
Year: 1988 

One of Denton Designs's 
finest hours was the 
atmospheric The Great 
Escape. It's therefore a shame 
that the pseudo-sequel Where 
Time Stood Still didn't achieve 
the same commercial success, 
although it did win much critical 
acclaim. The game was similar 
to The Great Escape, but rather 
than taking place in a POW 
camp, the action was set on a 
peculiar mountain plateau where 
danger lurked all around. 

Following a plane crash three 
passengers and the pilot had to 
escape from the mountain using 
brains and brawn. Impeding 
your progress were cannibal 
natives, roaming dinosaurs and 
rockfalls (among other things) 
and you'd only succeed by using 
each character's skills. The team's 
morale had to be monitored 
closely and if they were deprived 
of food and sleep they'd start 
complaining (especially fat 
businessman Clive). You had to 
account for the characters' 
personalities too. For example, 



If you pushed the characters too hard they became exhausted. Waiting for night to fall and letting them get 
some sleep was a good idea. 



► That plane isn't going anywhere, so you'd better 
work out another way back to civilisation. 



Dirk was usually quite helpful, but 
if Gloria (his fiancee) was killed he 
went into a sulk. 

The puzzles were also well 
implemented; early on in the 
game the team had to cross a 
rickety bridge - simple enough, 
surely? However, as the podgy 
Clive made his way over the 
bridge it gave way underneath 
him, so you had to find a way of 
lifting the porker back up to safety. 

With its blend of puzzle solving, 
team management and all-out 
action this was one of the most 
accomplished isometric 
adventures released on the 
Spectrum. It was also one of the 
toughest. In fact, did anybody ever 
save the hapless group...? 



Presentation 


80-/0 


Graphics 


85% 


Payability 




Addictive qualities 


90% 


OVERALL 


90% 





In terms of visuals, Pole Position still has a certain charm, but the over-sensitive controls mean that 
keeping the car on the track is a tiresome task 




134 games™ 




STRIDER 



Format: Arcade, MegaDrive, Various 
Manufacturer: Capcom 
Developer: Denton Designs 
Year: 1989 

Capcom's superb Strider coin-op remains one of 
the most imaginative platform/action games 
ever released. The eponymous hero was an 
extremely versatile character who was capable of 
latching onto surrounding surfaces and scaling them in 
a Spider-Man-like manner. Furthermore, each of the 
game's five varied levels was packed full of set-pieces. 
Perhaps Strider's strongest point however, were the 
huge guardians that cropped up throughout the stages. 
One of the most memorable of these was the 
centipede-like creature that appeared at the end of the 
first area. It wasn't exactly the toughest of bosses (it 
could be killed almost instantly if you rapidly slashed at 
its head), but in terms of originality it puts most of its 
contemporaries to shame. Allow us to expand on this... 

After making your way across the rooftops of a 
futuristic city, hacking a strongman to pieces and 



destroying a laser-spitting defence system, you entered the 
chambers of a Politburo. Within seconds of entering, the 
assembled members threw themselves out of their seats and 
formed a huge hammer and sickle-wielding centipede. As 
mentioned, this strange beast could be defeated fairly easily, 
but by killing it straight away players were depriving 
themselves of a most unusual ride. More fun could be had 
by jumping over the creature's head and hanging onto its 
back, thus allowing you time to admire this most peculiar of 
bosses in all its many-legged glory. You have to wonder how 
people think of this stuff. Still, we doff our caps to them. 




We trust you'll agree with us that this is one of the videogaming's most bizarre 
guardians. And one of the pinkest 



STAR GAMES 

This issue we look at Robocop 2s untimely destruction of a Bad Dudes Vs. Dragon Ninja coin-op. . 



BAD DUDES VS DRAGON NINJA 



he original Robocop (1987) movie is, in our 
| humble opinion, one of the finest films of the 
ighties. Its blend of dark, comic book humour 
and over-the-top violence really struck a cord with us at 
games™ . Suffice to say, when the staggeringly crap 
sequel arrived in 1990 we were more than a little 

ipointed. A weak cast and the truly awful 
commercial breaks (which were so amusing in the first 
film) made this significantly inferior to the original. 
However, if you could stay awake for the duration of 
the movie then you may have noticed a cornucopia of 
Data East coin-ops cropping up (the fact that Data East 
produced the arcade versions of Robocop and 
Robocop 2 was, no doubt, purely coincidental). 

The scene in question takes place when our hero is 
attempting to locate where Nuke (a powerful new 



narcotic) is being manufactured. Unfortunately for a 

crooked cop named Officer Duffy (who's been selling 

off the patrol patterns of his colleagues, thus leaving 

them sitting ducks for the criminals), he's in the wrong 

amusement arcade as Rol 

Duffy can escape he's appr 

like a rag doll by the titanium-clad super cop. 

Among the many coin-ops you see is the enjoyable 
shooter Midnight Resistance, but the star of the show 
is undoubtedly Bad Dudes Vs. Dragon Ninja. Having 
already received a drubbing at the metallic hands of 
the law, Officer Duffy soon has his head introduced to 
the monitor of the beat-'em-up coin-op. The screen 
shatters, but the game plays on -they just don't make 
'em like they used to. They were right when they said 
videogames were bad for you... 



rDuffyi 
over for corrupt cops. 




cause headaches and nausea. 



about) see Bad Dudes Vs. Dragon Ninja in acton. 



GODFATHERS 
OF GAMING 



GUNPEI YOKOI 



(1941-1997) 




Each month, games™ takes a look at a key 
figure from the world of videogames. The 
featured individual may have developed a 
hugely influential game, created some 
pioneering hardware or simply come up with 
an idea that took the industry forward. This 
issue, we look at Gunpei Yokoi -the father of 
handheld gaming. 

Whilst the likes of Peter Molyneux 
and Shigeru Miyamoto enjoy 
celebrity status in the videogame 
industry, some people's 
achievements have gone relatively 
unnoticed. A case in point being the 
late Gunpei Yokoi. During the 
Sixties, Yokoi worked at Nintendo 
maintaining production line 
machinery. His passion for 
electronics brought him to the 
attention of Nintendo's President, 
Hiroshi Yamauchi. With the 
Christmas rush of 1970 fast 
approaching, Yamauchi asked 
Yokoi to design a new product. This 
toy was the Ultrahand, a peculiar 
grabbing device that sold millions. 
Soon after, Nintendo's attention 
turned to videogames and Yokoi 
created the massively popular 
Game & Watch series that set 
Nintendo on the path to games 
industry domination. He also 
created the Metroid series that 
remains a firm favourite today. 

However, it is for the design of 
the Game Boy console that Yokoi is 
best remembered. The machine 
(and subsequent versions of it) 
have achieved massive global 
success and arguably kept the wolf 
from Nintendo's door during its 
leaner years. Sadly, Yokoi's Virtual 
Boy, whilst visionary in concept, 
was a commercial failure (though it 
now has a cult following). In the 
mid-Nineties, Yokoi set up his own 
firm, Koto Laboratory. Tragically, he 
was killed in a car accident in 1997, 
but his legend lives on. 



games™ 135 



I 



I 

I 



VIDEOGAMES...] 



PLAYING GAMES 
CAN BE TOUGH 
SOMETIMES. BUT 
A NUMBER OF 
TITLES HAVE 
TAUGHT US 
THAT THERE ARE 
WORSE JOBS 
OUT THERE. 



n theory, videogames are a form of escapism - offering 
players a chance to slip away from the more tedious 
aspects of everyday life such as work, school or college. 
Indeed, gaming affords people the chance to do something 
that they might otherwise never get to experience in real 
life. Yet since the early days of the industry there's been a 



string of releases that have simulated occupations from 
which most people would normally run a mile. Bizarrely, 
these games have often proved to be very popular, going 
directly against the adage "don't mix business with 
pleasure". We take a look at some of the titles that make 
you work for your entertainment. 



PAPER DELIVERY 



PAPERB 



1 



Atari 11984 

A good percentage of us have at one 
point or another experienced the 
misery of taking on a paper round. 
It's fair to say that lugging around a 
bag full of newspapers (the weight of 
which would give Geoff Capes a 
hernia) in the earlier hours of the 
morning is not really much fun. 
Irate customers complaining 
about missing colour supplements, 
subscribers with drives a mile long 
and the dog at number 73 (which 
made Cerberus look like Lassie) were 
just a few things that had to be 
tolerated if you wanted to boost your 



pocket money. So what does Atari 
go and do? Yep, release Paperboy- a 
game that saw players cycling 
through a suburban street, delivering 
papers and trying to avoid the local 
lunatics - chillingly close to real life. 





Of course, the game's vibrant 
graphics, unique handlebar control 
system (on the coin-op version) and 
the hugely imaginative gameplay 
made Paperboy a winner. Naturally, 
the irony of delivering papers in real 
life so that we could afford to pay for 
a videogame that involved doing the 
same, was lost on us back then. 



LUMBERJACK 

TIMBE 

Midway 11984 

Now, we know the eighties was the 
era of 'high concept', but Midway's 
77m ber took things to an extreme. 
One or two players controlled a 
woodsman as he attempted to fell a 
set number of trees in each stage. 

Your boss, sitting in a shack at the 
top of the screen, was always casting 
his beady eyes on you, and later 
stages saw the appearance of odd 
woodland foes and grizzly bears (the 
latter would enter the screen and 
throw beehives at you). Breaking up 
the tree-cutting action was a bonus 
stage where your character was 
required to stay upright on a rolling 
log for a set time. 

As it is, this is the only dedicated 
lumberjack simulation we know of, 
although other games such as 
Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny let 
you indulge in a bit of casual 
deforestation. All together now: "He 
cuts down trees, he eats his lunch, he 
goes to the lavatory...". Monty 
Python has a lot to answer for. 





n : " 



RESTAURANT WORKER 
BURGER Th 

Data East/Bally Midway ■ 1982 ur 

"Would you like fries with that, sir?" to 

Yes indeed, it's the cry of oily-skinned, if 

disinterested fast-food assistants w 

around the country -and our hearts liv 

go out to these overworked, th 



::;jj 



told by despairing career officers that 
if we didn't knuckle down at school 
we'd end up flipping burgers for a 
living. Strangely, Burger Time made 
the job look like fun. 

Controlling Peter Pepper, your task 
was to walk over the ingredients of 
burgers (which were suspended from 
platforms for some reason) and cause 
each segment to drop down onto 
plates at the bottom of the screen. 
Making things trickier were patrollinj 
enemies such as Mr Egg, Mr Pickle 
and Mr Hotdog who could only be 
stopped temporarily with a pinch of 
pepper. See? Much better than the 
real thing. 



REFUSE COLLECTOR 

Til 

m 



} TRASHM 



New Generation Software ■ 1984 

Only the British could come up with 
a game that placed you in the role 
of an up-and-coming refuse 
collector. Trashman for the 
Spectrum allowed wannabe dustbin 
people (let's be politically correct 
here) to indulge their dirtiest 
fantasies. Your goal was to rise from 
the rank of rookie binman to the 
giddy heights of trash management. 

In gameplay terms this involved 
the efficient emptying of dustbins, 
avoiding traffic such as kids on bikes 
(if these tinkers rode over your feet 
your speed was reduced) and 



1 



evading neighbourhood canines. 
Get hit by a car and you were dead 
- we can only assume that the 
wounds from the winter of 
discontent had yet to heal when the 
programmer came up with the idea 
for this one. 




MECHANIC 
AUTOMAN 



STORE DETECTIVE 



Micro-Gen ■ 1984 

With a sharp intake of 
hands on an oily cloth and announce: 
"Sorry mate, it's going to be a big 
job". The big job in question? Finding 
the parts for ten different cars and then 
assembling them in the garage. 

This was the game that introduced 
Wally Week to the world and a recent 
play of Auto mania revealed that it 
was much harder than we remember. 
Whether or not the life of a typical 
mechanic involves jumping around a 
series of moving platforms remains 
to be seen. If so, it might explain why 
your car is never ready when they 
say it will be. 



I I GRUMPY GUMPHREY: SUPER SLEUTH f 



7 



i 1 1 1 i miif i 



ft, JL 

Fir riTTi 



BARMAN 



TAPPER 



19831 Bally Midway 

Anyone who has ever worked 
behind the bar of a busy pub will 
feel right at home with Tapper. 
The game saw you controlling a 
moustachioed bartender who had 
to serve Budweiser to thirsty 
customers and collect the empties 
that they slung back at him. 

Tips could be scooped up and 
occasionally a few dancing girls 
would prance around a bit to 
distract customers. The game did 
a pretty good job of emulating a 
job in the bar trade and you even 
got an after-hours drink when you 
cleared the place out. A non- 
alcoholic version called Root Beer 
Tapperwas made for kids. 



= 



\ 



* 






L-^J , 



Gremlin ■ 1985 

You had the dubious honour of being a store detective in Gremlin's unusual 
arrest-'em-up for the Spectrum. Guiding the doddering old-timer of the title 
around the Mole Bros department store (a tribute to Monty), the name of 
the game here was to collar sneaky shoplifters who were trying to make off 
without paying for various items. If you let too many of these felons get 
away then you could say hello to your P45. 

Not one of Gremlin's biggest hits, the game did at least instil a basic 
sense of right and wrong in young players. About time too, eh? 



Atari's nove 




Viewed from an overhead 
perspective, you patrolled the streets 
in your cop car fining litterbugs, 
arresting perps and stopping off for 
the odd doughnut. Once you'd made 
your arrest you had to literally beat a 
confession out of the suspect before 
the chief arrived. We're quite sure this 
would never happen in real life... 






1 1 

* 

V 

1 * 1 
1 1 




- 

1 1 


1 



TRAFFIC WARDEN 



I 



CHUBBY 
GRISTLE 



FACTORY WORKER 

Inightshift 



1 



Grandslam ■ 1988 

Along with estate agents and lawyer, 
traffic wardens must rank as one of 
the most hated groups in society. 
Here you played the eponymous 
'hero' who, along with informing 
people that they "can't na A/ +i™™" 
also had a voracious ap H cuL G . 

The game itself was a fairly decent 
platformer that borrowed both its 
structure and visual style from the 
Monty Mole games. Unsurprisingly, 
with such an unlovable central 
character the title failed to capture the 
imaginations of gamers. That said, 
watching Chubby suffering gave us 
an unusual sense of well-being. 



US Gold/LucasArts ■ 1990 

Production line work is never easy, but in LucasArts's quirky action/puzzle 
title that's exactly what you had to do. Working for the Industrial Might and 
Logic company (can you see what they did there?) you had to maintain a 
machine that produced various toys and dolls. These were all themed 
around various Lucas franchises including Star Wars and Indiana Jones. 

As in reality, things didn't run smoothly and the machine you were 
working with was prone to more than the odd breakdown or two. True to 
form, a quota of products had to be produced by the end of each shift - 
failure to meet this led to dismissal. On the plus side, if you performed well 
you got a nice big bonus for your efforts. If only factory work was this much 
fun in real life. Sadly, as we've learned from past experience, it isn't. 







H 




* el 



£O,0G(XOOd 



games™ 137 







THIS MONTH'S 
FAVOURITES 

Putting together the second issue 
proved to be no easier than the first. 
Fortunately, these ageing classics 
pulled us through the darkest hours. 

BOMB JACK 

(Tehkan, 1984) This title had our caped 
hero defusing lines of bombs. Charming 
characters, cute graphics and 
surprisingly tricky gameplay ensure 
that Bombiack remains a firm favourite. 



ROLLING THUNDER 

(Namco, 1986) Rolling Thunder saw 
Special Agent Albatross taking on the 
evil forces of an organisation known 
as Geldra. This laid down the blueprint 
for SEGA's fantastic Shinobi. Respect. 






MONTY ON THE RUN 

(Gremlin Graphics, 1985) Having 
dusted down our Commodore 64 we 
loaded up one of Monty's best-loved 
adventures only to be shocked at just 
how tough it really was. 



(Irem, 1987) Even 15 years after its 
release, few side-scrolling shoot-'em- 
ups have managed to equal Irem's 
superlative coin-op. If you don't already 
own it, get /?-7ypeforthe PSone. 



THE GREAT BOULDER DASH... 



1381 




Format(s): Amiga/Atari ST 
(various conversions followed) 
Publisher: Firebird 
Developer: Core Design 
Release date: 1988 



/If n 1988, the world of 
/|f videogames was introduced to 
TB a new hero: Rick Dangerous - a 
man who laughed in face of the 
danger and wasn't afraid to poke 
his rod into the odd hole or two 
(we won't expand on this). Indiana 
Jones may have had some tough 
encounters during his scrapes with 
the Nazis, but poor old Rick had it 
even worse. 

Unlike many modern games 
that guide players by the hand with 
nice friendly training sections, Rick 
Dangerous threw you right in at 
the deep end. It also featured one 
of the most dramatic opening 
sequences of all time. After loading 
the game, players were greeted 
with a title screen depicting our 
eponymous daredevil and a brief 
plot outline explaining how Rick 
had crashed his plane while 
searching for the lost Goolu tribe. 
After this, it was into the game 
proper (indulgent 15-minute FMV 
sequences hadn't been invented 
back then, you see), with Rick 
standing in what looked to be an 
empty network of tunnels. No 
problems here, or so you'd think. 
The only way to head was right, so 



off you went on your merry way. 
Then it happened... After just a few 
short moments our hero found 
himself fleeing from a rolling boulder 
that, would you believe it, was 
tumbling straight towards him. 

What ensued was a desperate 
race as you negotiated your way 
through a series of narrow caverns, 
with the aforementioned boulder 
constantly threatening to crush the 
life out of you - as you might expect, 
players who dragged their heels paid 
with their lives (well, not literally). Of 
course, after a few attempts it all 
clicked into place, but even when 
you'd escaped, you had to contend 
with the rest of the game's fiendishly 
tricky levels, most of which were 
packed with booby traps. This was 
an incredibly unforgiving title. 

As memorable gaming moments 
go, the old boulder dash scene is up 
there with the best of them. A next 
generation remake of Rick Dangerous 
remains high on games™'s wish list, 
just so long as it's kept 2D (chance 
would be a fine thing.., 



Arcade) Original arcade flyer, 



games™ 139 




J2E2J233ESJ 

Refliake'' 




IS'T'U'N'T C'A'R R'A'C'E'R | 


/ i 



With the world and its 
brother seemingly 
releasing tawdry sequels 
and updates of any old 
rubbish, it's surprising to 
find that there are a 
number of true classics out 
there that have been left in 
the past. This month we 
take a look at Stunt Car 
Racer, a game we'd love to 
see on today's systems. 




hen the topic of games 
people want to see 
updated comes up, you 
can be certain that at least one person 
will mention Stunt Car Racer. Even 13 
years after its release, Geoff 
Crammond's sublime driving title 
stands as one of the most original 
racing games ever developed and 
puts many modern examples of the 
genre to shame. 

The game saw one or two players 
(STs and Amigas could be linked up 
for two player action) racing around 
eight hugely imaginative tracks in a 
series of one-on-one races. These 
weren't your average flat courses 
though; instead they bore closer 
resemblance to a rollercoaster. 
Starting off relatively easy, the stages 
soon became far more testing, with 
later levels featuring stomach- 
churning twists, jumps and finally a 
moving drawbridge. 

Mastering each of the eight tracks 
was no easy task and judging when to 
engage your limited turbo boost was 
pivotal to success - take a corner or 




A large amount of time was spent in the air - it was possible to jump over your opponent as well as sneak under them 
when they were airborne. 



jump too fast and you'd find yourself 
plummeting to the ground (there 
were no trackside barriers to save you 
here, although a crane would lift you 
back onto the track). Too many 
accidents and your customised racer 
would end up as smoking wreck. 

Visually, the game had a fairly 
minimalist look about it, yet this 
worked in its favour by adding a 
somewhat surreal feel to proceedings. 
Likewise, sound consisted of a raspy 
engine noise - no epic orchestral 
scores here. Of course this didn't 
matter, because the fiendishly 
designed tracks and frantic gameplay 
(winning in the First Division was 
no small feat) carried the whole 
thing through. 

Past updates of old favourites often 
fall flat on their faces, with the new 
games missing the point of what 
made the originals so great. However, 
we honestly believe that if Mr 
Crammond himself updated this for 
the current crop of consoles (or the 
PC) then this could be something very 
special. What with online console 



Released: 1989 
Publisher: MicroStyle 
Format: Atari ST, Amiga, PC, 
Commodore 64, Spectrum 




Hie 8-bit conversions were of a surprisingly high 
quality. Even the humble Spectrum version (pictured) 
had a fairly good stab at emulating its 16-bit cousins. 




The Big Ramp was the second track in the Third 
Division. Compared to the torturous later stages this 
was relatively tame. 

gaming looming, now would be the 
ideal time to consider reinventing 
Stunt Car Racer for the 21 st Century. 
Failing that, we recommend you dust 
down that old Amiga or Atari ST and 
relive the golden days. 




Very rarely would you find yourself on a flat surface. Huge bumps, jumps and dips were liberally scattered around each 
of the tracks. 



140 



GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN... 

We get all misty-eyed about things from the videogame industry of 
yesteryear that have sadly disappeared from the gaming scene... 

THE KEMPSTON JOYSTICK INTERFACE 

What the hell was this all about? We remember seeing adverts for the 

Kempston Joystick Interface in the specialist videogame magazines of the 

day, and pretty much every single Spectrum game released supported the 

device. Yet not once (and we're not exaggerating here) did we ever meet 

anybody who owned one of the bloody 

things (granted, we did see a few in the 

shops). Quite what was going here remains 

a mystery; did any of you people out there 

actually have one of these mythical 

interfaces? If you did then please drop us a 

line, we really would love to hear from you. 




LAST MONTH'S SPECTRUM 
SCREENS NAMED 



We know that some of you have been going out of your mind trying to 
identify some of the Spectrum images we printed in issue one of games™ 
Here, we put you out of your misery. From left to right, starting from the 
top, the games were. . . 



Spectrum Title Screen 

Thrust 

Zorro 

BacktoSkool 

Barry McGuigan World 

Championship Boxing 
Spy Hunter 
The Happiest Days Of Your 

Life 
Head Over Heels 
Highlander 
Trashman 



[^■HlhliH"M 

Agent-X II: The Mad Profs 

Back! 
Army Moves 
Batman 
Bobby Bearing 
Bomb Jack 
Hydrofool 
Hyper Sports 
Hyper Sports (again) 
IK + 
Saboteur 



Bubble Bobble 

C5 Clive 

Cauldron 

Cauldron II: The Pumpkin 

Strikes Back 
Chuckie Egg 
Infiltrator 
Jackthe Nipper 
Jetpac 
Jet Set Willy 
Joust 



Cobra 

Contact Sam Cruise 

Cyclone 

Cyrox 

Dan Dare: Pilot of the 

Future 
Juggernaut 
Roller Coaster 
Thanatos 
King's Ransom 
Knight Lore 

Starglider 
The Trapdoor 
Death Star Interceptor 
Daley Thompson's 

Decathlon 
Doomdark's Revenge 
Knight-Tyme 
Kokotoni Wilf 
Kung-Fu Master 
Lunar Jetman 
Manic Miner 

Driller 

Into The Eagles Nest 

Starquake 

Elite 

Enduro Racer 

Marsport 



Tapper 

Max Headroom 
Miami Vice 
Mikie 

lddlld.hdgld.IIIW 

Exolon 

Fat Worm Blows A Sparky 

Fighting Warrior 

Firetrap 

Grange Hill 

Spiky Harold 

Nodes Of Yesod 

Nosferatu The Vampyre 

Paperboy 

Pyracurse 



The Great Escape 

Green Beret 

Gunf right 

Sabre Wulf 

Hall Of The Things 

Quazatron 

Raid Over Moscow 

Rambo: First Blood Part I 

Rebel Star 

Rogue Trooper 




What Yiere 

they thintaw* 



To be fair, we all make mistakes and bad decisions from time to time. As history has shown, our friends in 
the videogame industry are no less prone than the rest of us to making the odd blunder or two. In an 
occasional section, we take a look at some of the slightly less informed decisions taken by some of the 
firms in the industry. This month we marvel at how both Atari and Midway managed to miss out on 
signing some of the most successful games in coin-op history. 



Aside from the most reclusive 
individuals who've hidden 
themselves away from the 
harsh realities of modern society, 
there can be few people who haven't 
heard of Namco's celebrated Pac-Man 
(or Puckman, if you must) coin-op. 
Created by Toru Iwatani, whose 
inspiration for the eponymous central 
character came whilst eating a pizza 
(come on, you know the story by 
now), the title went on to become one 
of the most successful videogames of 
all time. 

It also spawned a clutch of sequels 
and spin-offs, as well as a heap of 
merchandise. Pac-Man was, put 
simply, a phenomenon. The game's 
simplistic four-way control system 
coupled with its exceptionally 
addictive gameplay ensured that it 
appealed not only to teenage boys, 
but also older gamers and the elusive 
female market. 

Despite the obvious genius of the 
game (easy to say with the benefit of 
hindsight...), an unnamed individual 
at Atari who had been offered the 
sub-licence for the title in the lucrative 
US market decided that the game 
was "too easy". Consequently, 
Namco passed the offer onto one of 
Atari's key rivals, Midway, who went 




Apparently, Bally/Midway thought that US garnets 
would prefer to play cat and mouse than drive fast 
cars. US gamers proved otherwise. 




A bad decision by Bally/Midway gave Atari the sub- 
licensing rights to Pole Position. Somebody at Atari 
must have been laughing all the way to the bank. . . 

on to make a small fortune from the 
game - a bit like Decca failing to sign 
the Beatles. But it didn't end there. 

Obviously trying to trump Atari in 
the missed opportunity stakes, 
Bally/Midway would later decline US 
distribution rights to Namco's Pole 
Position, favouring another Namco 
title, Mappy, instead. Ironically, Atari 
then went on to snap up the Pole 
Position sub-licence in the US, with 
the game going on to become one of 
the highest grossing coin-ops of 1983. 

No doubt a number of executives 
at both Atari and Bally/Midway got a 
good grilling for their decisions, 
although trying to put names to who 
made these rather misguided choices 
isn't easy. No doubt management 
blamed the tea boy, cleaner... 




Amazingly, somebody at Atari felt that Pac-Man 
wouldn't appeal to a US audience. So Midway 
stepped in and the rest, as they say, is history. 



games™ 141 



o** 



Japan: October 1988, price ¥21,000 
US: Limited Release in LA and New York, August 1989 
US: General Release, September 1989, price $190 
UK: November 1990, price £189.99 




r siaiuc= 



*•-*** 



THE BEGINNING 

Up until the release of the SEGA 
Mega Drive (SEGA Genesis in the 
US), Nintendo and its NES console 
had a vice-like grip on the home 
console and videogame market. 
Having failed to make any major 
impact with its superior 8-bit Master 
System, SEGA decided go for the 
jugular by releasing a substantially 
more powerful console, the Mega 
Drive. The 16-bit console only sold 
moderately well in its native Japan, 



but in the US and European 
markets the machine went 
down a storm; thanks in no 
small part to some great 
coin-op conversions and 
polished sports sims. 
It's arguable that 
r the Mega Drive 
effectively forced 
Nintendo into 
bringing forward its 
successor to the Famicom/NES, as 
without any competition the Japanese 
giant could have sat back and let the 
money roll in from its still-popular 8- 
bit system. If nothing else, the Mega 
Drive showed that Nintendo was not 
untouchable and its release effectively 
heralded the beginning of the console 
wars that are still raging today. 

THE END 

As is so often the case with firms that 
have enjoyed rapid success in a 
market, SEGA began to lose its 
direction. As the popularity of 16-bit 
systems began to decline, the 



erstwhile console manufacturer 
released a number of ill-judged 
hardware add-ons for the Mega 
Drive, including the white elephants 
that were the Mega CD and the 32X. 
Both were expensive, lacked any 
decent software and ultimately went 
on to sully SEGAs reputation in the 
eyes 
of gamers. 

Nintendo, by contrast, handled 
things with much more savvy. Its 
Super Famicom/SNES was also 
suffering, but rather than go down the 
hardware add-on road the firm 
scrapped its planned CD peripheral 
(this would come back to haunt 
Nintendo, but that's another story) 
and instead bolstered the quality of its 
games by incorporating internal chips 
such as the Super FX into cartridges. 
Sadly, SEGA would never recapture 
the position it had held during the 
Mega Drive era and, despite being 
loved by the hard-core gaming 
community, both the Saturn and 
Dreamcast were commercial failures. 



THEJOYPAD 

When the Mega Drive launched in 
Japan in 1988, the need for more 
than three action buttons on the face 
of a joypad wouldn't have been a 
priority (remember, Street Fighter II 
didn't arrive until 1991). To be fair, 
the Mega Drive's controller was 
actually quite good - the ergonomic 
design was significantly superior to 
that of, say, the NES or PC Engine, 
although it lacked the innovation 
and flair that Nintendo's effort on the 
Super Famicom would later display. 
Sadly, as the popularity of one-on- 



142 games™ 



PERIPHERALS 
AND ADD-ONS 

Few console manufacturers have 
been able to resist releasing 
extravagant and often wildly 
misguided extra bits and pieces for 
their machines. SEGA was no 
exception and launched some rather 
ill-judged peripherals for the Mega 
Drive. 

The Menacer light gun peripheral 
was badly designed and lacked any 
decent compatible software 
(although, to be fair, it was better than 
Nintendo's dire Super Scope). More 
serious however, was the release of 
the Mega CD. This 'wonderful' piece 



pounds. In real terms it offered 
players little more than grainy FMV 
sequences and slightly improved 
music. Few developers utilised the 
extra graphical capabilities that the 
Mega CD afforded them (not that 
they were that great anyway). CORE'S 
Thunderhawk was one of the better 
titles, but that's about it. 

ing insult to injury was the 32X 
ly-thought-out stopgap that 

nproved the capabilities of the 

Tlega Drive whilst we waited for the 
Saturn. Again, software support was 
thin on the ground and the only thing 
the device did successfully was to 

jrther sully SEGA's already tail 

jputation. Oh dear. 



one beat-'em-ups flourished, the 
three-button set-up became 
increasingly unacceptable. 
Consequently, SEGA released a 
six-button pad (complete with a 
strange "mode button"), but it 
was too late in the day and 
many gamers had switched to 
Nintendo's 16-bit console. 



KEY GAME 



The Mega Drive played host to a broad range of software that covered pretty 
much all the key genres. We single out a number of the major titles that helped 
the machine win its way into the hearts of gamers. 






JOHN MADDEN FOOTBALL 

Our American cousins love 

their sport. Thus, it stands to 
reason that they also like 
videogame simulations of 
sport. This fact was not lost 
on SEGA and EA. If one 
I game sold the Genesis to 
the all-important US 
market then it had to be 
>£//. bA's game was, put simply, light-years 
ahead ot any similar title on a rival home system ( 10-Yard Fight on 
the NES, anyone?). 

With great visuals, a well-thought-out control interface and a huge 
library of plays, John Madden Football went down very well in both 
the US and Europe. It's a testament to the original game's quality that 
the series is still running today. Ironically, where EA had helped the 
MegaDrive grow in the US, the firm had a hand in the Dreamcast's 
demise by choosing not to develop for SEGA's 128-bit machine. 

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 



■ t 



The one thing SEGA (and, by 
definition, the Mega Drive) 
lacked was a memorable 
mascot to rival Nintendo's 
ubiquitous Mario - sorry, but 
Alex Kidd just wasn't up to 
the job. Consequently, in 
Q 1991 a blue hedgehog 

' named Sonic blasted his way 

onto our screens and became the firm's figurehead (he probably 
handled the marketing campaign for Dreamcast as well...). 

As it happened, Sonic The Hedgehog was inferior to Nintendo's 
Super Mario World, lacking the depth of the plumber-centric 

oys, please don't write in about this - it's just 
)y it). However, the game's fast, flashy 
visuals managed to win over a significant number of players and the 
much anticipated sequel Sonic The Hedgehog 2 went on to become 
the biggest-selling Mega Drive game in the machine's history. 

GOLDEN AXE 

— Despite what the press said 
at the time, Golden Axe on 
the Mega Drive was not 
"arcade perfect" by a long 
chalk. Unlike the coin-op, the 
corpses of defeated foes did 
not petrify and stay on- 
screen. Furthermore, the end 
sequence of the original 
(where the virtual arcade 

i 1 T«"F 

blew up and the characters 

d missing. These were just a few of the many deficits 
in the consumer version. That said, to the untrained eye the conversion 
did look pretty good and MD Golden Axe was of a sufficiently high 
quality to convince players that the MegaDrive was superior to the 
NES. Decent ports of Ghouls 'n Ghosts and Strider further boosted the 
machine's status, although again, neither were perfect translations. 



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Now before we start, let's make it 
clear that bad artwork for Western 
releases was by no means a problem 
exclusive to the MegaDrive (just think 
of the image on the PAL version of 
Street Fighter 2 for the Super 
Nintendo). However, the dire imagery 
that adorned the covers of UK 
MegaDrive games was especially 
offensive. A case in point was Strider. 
The Japanese version featured a 
lovely stylish image, whereas its 
Western counterpart centred on a guy 
who looked not dissimilar to William 
Shatner. And as for that black grid 






Jm 



Look at the lovely Japanese artwork, it's rather easy on 




143 



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146 games 7 " 



W* 2 



- 





Hie Amstrad CPC lacked a decent version of Pac- 
Man, so the twins developed this clone. Amazingly, 
the game was programmed in about three weeks. 



THE OLIVER 

Chances are if you owned a computer during the heyday of the 8-bit computer era then 
you probably purchased at least one game developed by the prolific Oliver twins, Philip 
and Andrew. The brothers coded a huge number of titles and scored a massive hit with 
the platform game Dizzy. They now head the successful development house Blitz Games. 



In 1980, The Oliver twins were 
introduced to the joys of 
videogaming through a friend of 
theirs who was lucky enough to own 
an Apple lie ('e' for enhanced) home 
computer. Having sampled the 
delights of games such as Tax-Man 
(an unashamed clone of Pac-Man) 
the pair were hooked. Cutting their 
teeth on systems such as the Sinclair 
ZX81 and Dragon 32, the brothers 
started to program their own titles in 




The twins' Amstrad CPC conversion of Fruit Machine 
Simulator proved popular despite criticism that you 
couldn't win any money on the game. No, really. 



Basic and soon secured a number of 
publishing deals with, among others, 
Acornsoft, who published their first 
commercial title. 

The twins' big break however 
came when they met the Darling 
Brothers at the ECTS of 1985. A deal 
was agreed upon where the Olivers 
would write a game for Codemasters 
and receive royalties for each copy 
sold. The first game developed under 
this arrangement was Super Robin 
Hood Tor the Amstrad CPC (later 
converted to a number of other 
systems). It proved popular and 
before long the Olivers found 
themselves inundated with work 
from Codemasters. 

As well as writing a wealth of 
original titles (including many of the 
Simulator series of games) the twins 
were asked to port a number of 
Codemasters titles onto other 
systems. But in spite of their massive 
back catalogue, the Oliver twins are 





We take a look at some of the games that helped the twins get a foothold in the industry and eventually saw them rise to stardom. Of course, there 
are too many to cover over just two pages so in a future issue we'll be giving them more space, especially those much-loved Dizzy games. 



best remembered for introducing 
gamers to Dizzy. The egg-like hero's 
first game sold well at its budget price 
of £1 .99 and before long gamers were 
demanding to see more of him. The 
Olivers were happy to oblige and 
released well over ten sequels that 
appeared on formats such as the 
Spectrum, Amstrad, Commodore 64, 
ST, Amiga, Master System, NES, 
MegaDrive and Game Boy. 

In January 1991 the twins decided 
to set up their own development firm 
called Interactive Studios. Together 
with a team of about 25 
programmers and artists, the 
fledgling developer continued to 
work with Codemasters on a series 
of NES titles. Unfortunately, while the 
NES had enjoyed massive success in 
the US and Japan, the machine's 
popularity began to dwindle once the 
SNES and MegaDrive arrived. 

More problematic was that 
Codemasters's relationship with 
Nintendo was far from perfect and 
Nintendo was putting pressure on 
retailers not to stock the Codies's 
titles. This naturally had an adverse 
effect on sales, which in turn meant 
financial difficulties for Interactive 
Studios. By November 1993, 
Interactive Studios broke links with 
Codemasters and began to work 



BLACK BOX 
AND GAMBIT 

Publisher: Acornsoft 

Format: BBC Micro Model B 

Year: 1984 

These two simplistic strategy games were put 

together by the brothers as an entry into a 

competition for a Saturday morning kids TV 

show called The Saturday Show. Black Box 

and Gambit won the compo and earned the 

twins a Commodore monitor (which they still 

use today). More 

importantly, the game 

was signed up by 

Acornsoft and released 

on the BBC 

Microcomputer. While it 

only sold in modest 

numbers, the brothers 

had gained an entry into 

the industry. 




CAVEY 

Publisher: Players 

Format: BBC Micro Model B 

Year: 1984 

Inspired by the success of Space Invaders, the 

brothers created their first arcade-style game. 

You controlled a caveman whose job was to 

hurl spears at overhead pterodactyls that were 

dropping rocks on you. In addition to dodging 

said rocks you also had to keep an eye out for 

your own spears (as the laws of gravity dictate: 

what goes up must 

come down). We will 

not herald this as one 

of the greatest games 

ever developed, but at 

the time we enjoyed it. 

Come to think of it, 

what did happen to 

the caveman game 

genre? Answers on a 

postcard please... 




SUPER 
ROBIN HOOD 

Publisher: Codemasters 

Format: Amstrad CPC (first). Spectrum, 

Commodore 64, Atari ST, Amiga, NES 

Year: 1985 

Following a meeting with the Darling Brothers 

at the 1985 ECTS, the Oliver twins were 

commissioned by the Darlings to work on a 

game called Super Robin Hood for the 

Amstrad CPC. Working 

almost around the 

clock (taking it in turns 

to program on the one 

computer they owned) 

the twins completed 

the project and it went 

on to enjoy great 

success. The games™ 

jury is still out on the 

cover art, though... 




DIZZY 

Publisher: Codemasters 

Format: Amstrad CPC (first). Spectrum, 

Commodore 64 

Year: 1986 

This was the one that really put the Olivers on 

the map. Admittedly, the concept of an egg 

(sporting boxing gloves, of all things) roaming 

around a series of locations may not sound like 

ideal material for a classic videogame, but this 

was an absolute blinder. 

The subsequent release of 

sequels and spin-offs such 

as Treasure Island Dizzy 

and Dizzy Panic! soon 

gained the eggish hero 

near legendary status. 

There's still nothing quite 

so heartbreaking as the 

broken shell and dripping 

yolk of a dying Dizzy 




AJUUVUVUVUVUVUftJUUVUft 




At just £1.99 Dizzy was a real bargain and rightfully the series enjoyed great success. A huge amount of sequels 
followed and the character is still fondly remembered by gamers today. 



almost exclusively on porting other 
people's games onto various 
systems. The lack of creativity in 
doing this disappointed the twins, 
but eventually they won the contract 
to develop an original game 
{Firo & Klawd) for the PlayStation 
and PC. Following this, Interactive 
Studios won the contract to work 
on the game of the popular 
WarGames movie. 

The firm later changed its name to 
Blitz Games and today the brothers 
oversee the business and 
development side of things, rather 
than programming the games 
themselves. Recent Blitz Games 



PROFESSIONAL 
SKI SIMULATOR 

Publisher: Codemasters 
Format: Amstrad CPC (first). Spectrum, 
Commodore 64, Atari ST, Amiga 
Year: 1986 

The brothers had taken a shine to the Atari 
coin-op Marble Madness and used the basic 
structure of this game to create an enjoyable if 
slightly flawed ski title (the idea came about 
following a skiing trip 
to Austria). A 
somewhat suspect 
control system 
disappointed, but the 
game's low price and 
generally high quality 
ensured that the twins 
had another hit on their 
hands. 




releases include Fusion Frenzy, Taz: 
Wanted and Disney's Lib & Stitch. 

By their own admission the twins 
have seen some low points during 
their career, but things look to be 
back on track. The question is: will 
we see Dizzy making a comeback? 
We'll just have to wait and see... 




Super Robin Hood gave you the chance to 'be' 
Nottingham's finest folk hero. Green tights and a band 
of Merry Men were entirely optional. 



Q & A WITH PHILIP OLIVER 
(CO-FOUNDER OF BLITZ GAMES) 



As one half of the Oliver twins, Philip Oliver knows a thing or two about the games 
industry. And he's met Jeremy Beadle. Impressed? You should be. . . 

WHICH ONE VIDEOGAME WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE 
CREATED AND WHY? 

It's difficult to pick out any one game because it'd probably be a different 
one in each era. The first one out would be Pac-Man because it was just 
such an elegant and compulsive game - and probably the first with a 
character and personality. In the Spectrum days it was probably games 
like Head Over Heels or Knight Lore just because they were getting more 
out of the machine than seemed possible. Later, in the MegaDrive days it 
would have to be the first Sonic game - it was just so fluid, so fast and 
such a brilliant stylised look compared to anything else that had come 
before. After that it'd have to be some of Rare's mid-Nineties output like 
Donkey Kong and Banjo-Kazooie because at that time they really had the 
knack of creating such incredibly full and vibrant worlds that really made 
the N64 shine, and they never forgot the gameplay either. There are, of 
course, many, many more... 

WHAT'S YOUR BEST MEMORY OF WORKING IN THE 
VIDEOGAME INDUSTRY? 

Probably our early days of making Spectrum games. Knowing that 
whatever we produced would go on sale the following month and go 
straight to number one was a fantastic incentive to keep going and keep 
improving. They were exciting times, and much simpler times. 

WHAT WAS IT LIKE BEING DESCRIBED AS WHIZZ-KIDS? 
DID ALL THE FAME GO TO YOUR HEAD? 

It was pretty weird at first but in the very early days it was largely just the 
local papers in Wiltshire that were picking up the story. It was only after we 
were on The Saturday Showfor winning a game design competition that 
the whole whizz-kid thing kicked off. We certainly weren't the only 15-year- 
old programmers that were doing well and earning loads of money at the 
time, but we never really fell into the camp of showing off by buying fast 
cars or the like. I think we kept our feet fairly well on the ground. 

ANY GOOD ANECDOTES ABOUTTHE SATURDAY SHOW 
AND ITS HOST, JEREMY BEADLE? 

Two slightly odd moments - the first was while we were filming as the 
Harlem Globe Trotters were charging round the studio playing basketball 
in and around the cameras, and the second was when we were in the bar 
afterwards with Gary Numan. At one point we all looked out of the 
window into the courtyard below to see hundreds of Gary Numan look- 
alikes crowding outside. Very surreal. 



i ■ e. i v a .1 1 




Incredible Shrinking Sphere (ISS) borrowed heavily from Marble Madness. 
Hie brothers ported the C64 game to the Amstrad and Spectrum for Electric 
Dreams using a pseudonym to avoid wrangling with Codemasters. 



JCTCT 



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mptow 



cla;;ic 
magazine; 



This month we look back at what 
can truly be described as a 'hard- 
core' videogames magazine. 



MAXIMUM 



The term 'hard-core 
gamer' gets on our nerves 
a bit. As far as we're 
concerned, if you don't think 
Ico is 'the greatest game ever 
made' then you're not going 
to burn in hell. And so what if 
you like a bit of FIFA - gaming 
is about having fun, isn't it? 
However, in the case of 
multiform at Maximum 
magazine, the only apt 
description is that it was 'a 
hard-core videogame mag for 
hard-core gamers'. In issue 
one the team devoted an 
astonishing 11 pages to Street 
Fighter Alpha: Warriors' 
Dreams (the arcade version, 
that is) and nine pages to the 
little known Neo Geo beat- 
'em-up Kabuki Klash: Far East 
of Eden. Remember -the 
magazine launched at the 
same time as the Saturn and 
PSone, so the team's 
reluctance to provide blanket 
coverage of these new 
systems was laudable (if 
perhaps misguided). 
The sheer passion, 
enthusiasm and depth on 
offer here was enough to earn 
the mag a loyal readership. 
Sadly, but not completely 
surprisingly, Maximum only 
lasted seven issues. In the 
words of Eldon Tyrell: "The 
light that burns twice as 



DONT GO CHANGING 



This month we take a look at SEGA's quirky Mega Drive platformer Magical Flying Hat Turbo 
Adventure, and how it was transformed into Decap-Attackior Western audiences. 



I DECAP-ATTACK 



1 



If you owned a Mega Drive and were 
up on the import gaming scene back 
in 1990, then there's a good chance 
that you may remember a rather 
enjoyable platform title by the name of 
Magical Flying Hat Turbo Adventure 
(MFHTA from now on). The game, while 
hardly a classic, was surprisingly 
playable and saw you controlling a 
cutesy central character who could 
throw around his egg-like buddy to 
attack enemies. The vibrant anime 
visuals also lent the game a certain 
charm. Naturally, back in those days 
SEGA were still a little wary about 
releasing leftfield titles in the West. 
Given that the Mega Drive/Genesis was 
performing better in Europe and the US 
than in its native Japan, the firm 
decided that MFHTA should be given an 
overhaul to endear it to overseas 
gamers. Consequently, in 1991 the 



Western market received the horrifically 
named Decap-Attack starring... Chuck 
D. Head (great gag, guys). 

The game was essentially a level- 
for-level remake of MFHTA, but now 
the hilariously-named hero (obviously 
designed to appeal to US gamers) was 
a mummified corpse with a face in his 
chest and you had to explore a 
number of comedy horror worlds. The 
egg of the Japanese game had been 
replaced with a detachable skull that 
could be thrown about and the 
Japanese enemies were swapped for 
more Westernised foes. Fortunately, 
apart from the slightly tragic 
Americanisation of plot and graphics, 
the game itself remained intact. Next 
month we look at the debacle that was 
Street Combat on the SNES - a truly 
shameful adaptation of the Ranma 1/2 
game on the Super Famicom. 



In terms of layout these two title screens (Decap is 
obviously on the right) share key similarities, although 
the graphics and text have clearly been changed. 





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In the Japanese game (above) our hero could punch 
foes, in the Western version (top) Chuck's chest-based 
face was used for such short-range strikes. 



> uncncorncc 



Whatever happened 
Matthew Smith gam 



s the programmer of Styx, 
Manic Miner and, of 
course, Jet Set Willy, 
Matthew Smith was a coding 
superstar. Yet after the massive 
success of the Miner Willy titles 
Smith all but disappeared from the 

a me scene. Then it was 
announced that he was working on 
a number of new releases. There 



iYIjhS 



1 ATTACK OF THE MUTANT ZOMBIE 

f FLESH EATING CHICKENS FROM MARS 



When 
adverts 
began tc 
tesh Eating 
g world stood up and took notice. . . 




was Footy, an overhead football 
simulation, and the 
Miner Willy Meets The Taxman (or 
MegaTree (Manic Miner III)). The 
former did get beyond the design 
stages but the latter never got off the 
drawing board (although copies of 
ns are said to exist). 
More curious, however, was Attack 
Of The Mutant Zombie Flesh Eating 
"~appo 

the Dog. Adverts for the game 
appeared during mid-1987. Smith was 



writing the game for the Spectrum 



working on a C64 variant called Star 
Paws. AOTMZFECFM never saw the 
light of day, but Star Paws (featuring 
Rover Pawstrong) was finished and 
converted to the Spectrum. The 
side-scrolling adventure, although 
quite limited, offers a tantalising 
glimpse of what Smith may have 
had in mind for AOTMZFECFM, but 
we may never know the whole truth 
about those chickens. 

*r + ,-> I 




Notice the similarity between Rover 
Pawstrong and Zappo the Dog. 



- »!■■! 



Star Paws as it appeared on the Spectrum in 1988. 



150 games™ 



S'P'E'E'D'B'A'L'L II: B'R'U'T'A'L D'E'L'U'X'E 



BACK IN 1990, 
THE CRY OF 
"ICECREAM, 
ICECREAM" 
HAD A 
SINISTER 
OVERTONE 
TO IT... 



, orrowing heavily from Norman 
lewison's pompous 1975 flick 

nllerhall thp nrinirml Gnwrlhall 



from legendary coders The Bitmap 
Brothers was a futuristic team 
sports game in which kicking the 
hell out of your opponents was just 
as important (or at least as 
satisfying) as scoring goals. Its mix 
of fast-paced play, extreme 
violence and management 
elements deservedly made it one 
. popular titles of its day. 
However, two years down the 
line the highly anticipated sequel 
came along and completely tore 
up the rulebook - not that there 
were too many rules in the first 
a me. Speed ball 2: Brutal Del"™ 




took the key elements that had made 
its predecessor so great and then 
chucked in a plethora of new 
features to spice thini 
graphics were better (they still had 
the Bitmap Brothers's highly stylised 
metallic look to them), the playing 
area was bigger (the cramped arenas 
of the original had come in for some 
criticism) and the action itself was 
faster and more aggressive. 

In one-player mode it was your 
task to take Brutal Deluxe (a no- 
hoperteam of thugs) through a 
series of league, cup and knockout 
competitions. This was all good fun, 
but the real pleasure was to be had 
in the exceptionally addictive two- 
player mode. With two equally- 
matched players going at it, games 
could become impossibly 
competitive - to a point where 
blows were being landed both on 
the screen and off it. 

So what made the game so 
good? Essentially the gameplay 



remained true to that of the original - 
namely, two teams of armour-clad 
players attempting to outscore one 
another. The inclusion of two ramp- 
like score multipliers was the real 
stroke of genius, however. By rolling 
your ball up these, the value of any 
subsequent points you scored was 
increased. If a team did this twice 
then point values went through the 
roof. Fortunately, the effects of this 
could be nullified if the opposition 
rolled the ball back up the ramp. 
What this led to was a series of bruta 
challenges being exchanged around 
the multipliers, with neither team 
wanting to let the other get away 
with an advantage. 

Furthermore, an electroball unit 
allowed you to turn the ball into a 
formidable weapon for a limited time 
(canny players linked this with the 
multiplier for added effect). Best of 
all, if a particular player took too 
much of a drubbing he keeled over 
and was unceremoniously removed 



by two robotic stretcherbearers, all to 
the immortal sound of an off-screen 
vendor yellinc 
cream". As playable today as it was 
on its release, Speedball 2: Brutal 
Deluxe is a masterclass in great 
game design. Just don't get us 
started on the abomination that was 
Speedball 2100... 

Speedball Arena is currently being 
developed by The Bitmap Brothers 
for a number of next generation 
platforms. Expect a release later 
this year. 



Format(s): Amiga/Atari ST (first), PC, C64, NES, Master 

System, Mega Drive, Game Boy, CD32, Game 

Boy Advance 

Publisher: Image Works 

Developer: The Bitmap Brothers 

Price: £24.99 

Release date: November 1990 



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SHOOTING 
STARS 

Unlike the first game, points could 
be amassed not only by 
slamming the metallic ball into 
your opponent's goal, but also by 
hitting stars located on the arena 
walls. If you could illuminate a 
row of these then yet more bonus 
points were awarded. Sounds 
easy in theory, but when 
opposing players were kicking the 
hell out of you, aiming accurately 
became that little bit trickier. 



'JaM-l* 



games™ 1 51 



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TIB IE EBB> 



ost of us can recall 



sequences from 
our favourite games, but the 
endings are quite a different 
matter. For instance, what 
happened when you 
completed The New 
Zealand Story? Who was the 
last boss in Final Fight? And 
what happened to Jessica? 
We take a look at some 
lesser-spotted closing 
sequences and evaluate 
them based on how cliched 
they were. In order to do 
this, we've used the 
patented "Guy saves the 
world, gets the girl and 
walks off into the sunset" 
rating system, otherwise 
known as 

"GSTWGTGAWOITS". 
Variants of this system 
include "Kiwi saves the 
world, gets the bird (literally) 
and walks off into the 
sunset", otherwise known 
as "KSTWGTBAWOITS". 
We trust you can work out 
the others for yourselves. 



SUPER MARIO WORL 



1 



Format: Super Nintendo 

Having destroyed each of the 
castles, Mario finally comes 
face-to-face with, and defeats, 
the mighty Bowser. After whupping 
his foe, Mario is reunited with the 
love of his life, Princess Daisy. And 
then it's off on holiday for a bit of a 
knees-up with Yoshi and his friends. 
Who says there's no such thing as a 
happy ending? 




It would make sense for Mario and Daisy to move into 
one of Bowser's castles. Obviously, it'd need a bit of 
renovating but it would be a great project 



Bowser's a positively friendly face compared to the leering, guming face of that clown contraption. Finally, people 
seem to be realising that clowns aren't funny. You might as well have axe murderers running around at the circus. 




■QP". 





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What's the situation with Mario, Daisy a/K/Luigi? It's 
either a bit sordid or Luigi just doesn't realise when it's 
time to leave the lovebirds to it 



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No sunset, but all the other requisite 
factors are present. 



152 games'" 



THE REVENGE 
'OFSHINOBI 



1 



Format: MegaDrive 

This game had the bonus of 
two (count 'em) endings 
depending on how quickly you 
defeated the head of the Neo Zeed 
Corporation. If you did it in time you 
saved your girlfriend from being 
crushed to death by a descending 
ceiling in the background; cue a 
soppy scene with our hero and his 
girl standing arm-in-arm, staring at 
the sunset. Take too long though, and 
the girl gets flattened, leading to a 
heart-wrenching scene showing your 
lonesome character staring into the 
night sky where an image of his 
deceased lady friend materialises. 



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ABOVE: You did it! The lovely floaty-skirted lady is 
yours. BELOW You fool! She died because you were 
too slow. We hope you feel bad about that 



NSTWGTGAWOITS 

Good Ending: 10/10 

Every cliche present and correct. 







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N t 1 1. t • 1 * ' E * r . 



NSTWGTGAWOITS 

Bad Ending: 3/10 

World saved but no sunset or girl. 





martial arts warriors known to man. Look at him 
on the left - he'll scratch your eyes out. . . 

Format: Arcade 

a king your way through 
the five floors of the 
Devil's Temple was no 
easy task but, having defeated Mr 
X, Thomas is finally reunited with 
the love of his life, Silvia. Off she 
leaps from her chair and we see 
the happy couple sharing a loving 
embrace. Sadly, as the game 
informs you, this happiness does 
not last long and before you know 
it you're back on level one going 
through the whole thing again. 
Only things start getting tougher 
this time round... 



KFMSTWGTGAWOITS: 5/H 
Girl-saving ahoy here, but a 
serious sunset and world-saving 
deficit lets things down. 






Thanks to shoddy punctuation, it sounds like 
Thomas, Silvia and a Kung-Fu master enjoyed 
rribly Bohei 



GHOSTBUSTERS 



Format: Commodore 64 

Despite an awesome Mr Stay 
Puft sequence (where you 
had to dodge past him), the 
end battle was something of a 
letdown. Having completed the game 
by closing the portal to the spirit 
world, your reward was a lousy bit of 
text telling you that you'd been 
awarded some money as a bonus. 
You did get a new account number 
for the next time you played, so it 
wasn't all bad news - but still a bit 
lame. No girl? No sunset? Rubbish. 




L_i.^..... 






PISTWGTGAWOITS: 2/10 

No sign of Sigourney Weaver, no 
sunset, but yes the world had been 
saved. 



games™ 153 




Format: Arcade 

Capcom's classic coin-op was one of the trickiest titles of its day (of all 
time, for that matter). Making matters worse was the fact that in order to 
reach the final boss, Lucifer, players had to go through the whole game 
twice -there were no namby-pamby saves in those days, so this had to be done 
in one sitting. As it turned out, Old Nick wasn't too tough to defeat and, having 
blown him back to hell, the trapped souls of your village folk were freed. Shortly 
afterwards, a bird drops down the Princess of Hus, who looks as though she is 
dead (gasp). Fortunately, her spirit returns to her body and up she gets, but the 
final screen confirms that Arthur's troubles are far from behind him; a knight's 
work is never done. 



154 




All that armour isn't particularly romantic. After 30 
minutes with a tin-opener and a welding mask the 
moment's pretty much lost isn't it? 



KOOSTWGTPAWOITS: 7/1 

Arthur gets the girl, but the world 
hadn't been completely saved just yet. 



FINAL FIG 






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Format: Arcade 

Having fought through the 
various members of the 
criminal outfit known as Mad 
Gear (this, incidentally, was the name 
of an earlier Capcom coin-op) the 
only thing that stood between you 
and Jessica was Belger, the 
wheelchair-bound head of the 
organisation. Having delivered the 
coup de grace, the boss is smashed 
through a window where he 
plummets to his death. All is not well 
though - clearly Guy wants Jessica to 
be more than just a friend. What 
results is a scuffle between him and 
Cody and a final scene where Cody 
tells Jessica he can't stay with her 
because there's still crime to fight. As 
we later discovered in Street Fighter 
Alpha 3, Cody would take the crime- 
fighting thing a bit too far and 
eventually end up doing time for 
brawling (but that's another story). 




GSTWGTGAWOITS: 2/10 

Squabbling among friends and the 
girl gets left on her lonesome - hardly 
the stuff of Mills and Boon. 



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IMPOSSIBLE 
'MISSION 



1 




This title was fiendishly difficult but it looks like you've 
got a respite here - nothing too taxing about running 
down a corridor is there? Or is there? 





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That Alvin Atombender's a nasty piece 
when you're bom with a name like Ate 
you've got no option but to become an 


of work. But 
mbender 
evil scientist 



Format: Commodore 64 

f ever a game had an apt title then 
this was it. E pyx's Impossible 
Mission was indeed impossibly 
difficult, but the cackling of the evil 
Alvin Atombender kept everyone 
coming back for just one more go. 
Remember, this was a Commodore 
64 game and flashy end sequences 
were still the stuff of a madman's 
dreams in those days. So not much 
of an ending then really, but we'll 
forgive this one anything just for the 
immortal line: "Another visitor, stay a 
while, stay forever". The term: 
"Destroy him my robots" still sends a 
shiver down our spines as well. 



SASWGTGAWOITS: 3/10 

No girl, no sunset, but yes the world 
had been saved. 



BUBBLE BOBBLE 



Format: Arcade 

~~ owthis one really sorted the 
men from boys. Unless you 
invested a great deal of time 
(and money) in the game you 
probably never got to see the 
endings. There were three in total, but 
to view the one shown here you had 
to play the game in Super Bubble 
Bobble mode (an explanation of how 
to do this may come in future issues). 
Having defeated Super Drunk, our 
heroes Bub and Bob (spiritual 
predecessors of Ant and Dec, because 
they got everywhere but no-one 
knew which was which (Bub was the 
green one, fact fans)) not only 
transformed back into their human 
form, but also rescued their girlfriends 
and their parents. You were then 
treated to what was, quite literally, a 
happy ending. 



DSTWGTGAWOITS: 

Girls saved, parents saved and 
everyone lives happily ever after. 



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What Mam doesn't know is that Papa used to have a distinguished career in Danish pom. You'd have thought 
the moustache would have been a giveaway. . . 






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exertion of the game, all subtlety is abandoned. 



CONTRA III: THE ALIEN WA 



Format: SNES (US) 

For many, this was the definitive 
instalment of Konami's 
celebrated Contra series. After 
they'd blown away the alien brain 
that lurked at the end of the game, 
Lance and Bill were whisked to safety 
by a helicopter and eventually 
dropped off in the middle of an 
adoring crowd of admirers. They may 
have been hard-as-you-like soldiers of 
fortune (or something along those 
lines), but the final screen proves that 
the two of them scrub up rather well. 
Bill's suit is particularly eye-catching. 
No sign of a girl though... 









Ti7 

















So much for walking off into the sunset with the girl - 
these two are off to the showers for some manly chat 
towel-flicking and, urn, spirited horseplay. 




I'm sure a peaceful time will come, but you might 
want to get rid of the tooled-up helicopter and the 
brawny fella with the big gun first 




HANSSWGTGAWOITS: 3/10 

Saved the world they might have, 
but these two seem to be more 
interested in each other than young 
ladies - that's the military for you. 



^ 



SAM FOX 
STRIP POKER 




Format: Spectrum 

Gratuitous End Game 
Sequence Showing A 
Woman With Her Breasts 
Exposed. Sorry. 



GSWGTGAWOITS: 

Erm... 



N/A 




"Cough, splutter, choke:: We're terribly sorry, we really 
don't know how this got in here. You just sit tight and 
we'll go and make sure it doesn't happen again. . . 



games 155 




IC'UA'S'S'hC C'O'N'S'&L'E'S 



I'D BUY THAT 

FORADOUAR 



Here's a basic list of the more popular games 
machines that people are collecting. The prices 
shown are a rough estimate of what you 
should be paying for a decent condition machine in its 
original box, with little or no software. Obviously, 
though, prices can vary dramatically. 



Ei V 




Panasonic 3DO 


£60 


Goldstar 3DO 


£50-60 



J ACORN COMPUTERS j 




BBC Micro 


£50 


Acorn Electron 


£40 



JAMSTRAD 



Amstrad CPC 464 


£20 


Amstrad CPC 664 


£20-25 


Amstrad CPC 6128 


£25 


Amstrad GX4000 


£50 



[_ ~J 




Atari VCS 2600 £30 (wooden models tend to cost 


more) 


Atari ST 


£40 (with software) 


Atari Lynx 


£35 (the streamlined model costs 


more) 


Atari Jaguar 




£25 



COMMODORE 



Commodore Vic 20 £15-20 

Commodore 64 £25-35 (varies according to model) 
Commodore Amiga £35-40 (varies according to model) 
Commodore CDTV £50-60 

C64GS £50 (becoming more sought-after) 

Commodore CD32 £35 



JMISC 



GCE Vectrex (General Consumer Electronics) £200-250 
MB Vectrex (Milton Bradley) £175-200 

JAMMA compatible cabinets £100-350 

(depending on model) 
Supergun £150-200 (varies according to model) 



Inec 



PC Engine 


£70-80 


TurboGrafx-16 


£50-60 


Turbo Duo 


£100-150 


PC Engine GT 


£150-200 


Super Grafx 


£200-250 



^NINTENDi 


/ 




Game & Watch £1 5-50 (depending on title) 


Nintendo Entertainment System £15-20 


Game Boy/Game Boy Pocket £10 


Game Boy Color £15 


Super Nintendo £20-25 


Virtual Boy £75-100 


Nintendo 64 £20-25 



£ w 




Master System 


£20 


MegaDrive 


£20-25 


Game Gear 


£20-25 


Mega CD 


£40-60 


SEGA32X 


£30 


SEGA Nomad 


£75-100 


SEGA Saturn 


£30 


Dream cast 


£25-30 



SINCLAIR 



Sinclair ZX-81 


£40 


ZX Spectrum 48K 


£40-50 


ZX Spectrum + 


£30 


ZX Spectrum 128K 


£40 


ZX Spectrum +2 


£35 


ZX Spectrum +3 


£40 



Neo Geo MVS Single Slot (Arcade system) 
(prices for multi-slots 


£70 
are higher) 


Neo Geo AES (home system) 


£175-225 


Neo Geo CD 


£125-175 


Neo Geo CDZ 


£150-175 


Neo Geo Pocket 


£25-30 



SEGA SATURN 



rvyntJKK 




RECOMMENDED PRICE: 

£25-35 for PAL machine, £60-70 for 

switched machine 






The machine's strength lay in producing fabulous 2D 
visuals, but it could still knock out some decent 3D titles, 
including this conversion of Virtual On. 



VIRTUAL BOY 




RECOMMENDED PRICE: 
£75-100 

" most peculiar console from 
, Nintendo. The Virtual Boy was 
designed by the late Gunpei Yokoi who, 
among other things, had previously given 
the world the all-conquering Game Boy. 
Sadly, the machine proved that even 
giants such as Nintendo are prone to the 
odd slip-up. The console itself was billed 
as a pseudo Virtual Reality system, with 
an odd LCD screen that the user viewed 
through a goggle-like device. 

Unfortunately, the monochrome red 



156 games™ 



UP CLOSE! 



Each month we'll pick out a number of consoles and computers from the list and examine them in closer detail. We'll also highlight 
some of the better games available for each machine. This month the Virtual Boy, BBC Micro and the SEGA Saturn get thrown into 
the second-hand spotlight. 



ith its Saturn console, SEGA 
effectively brought a knife to 
a gunfight. The problem was that 
the machine had been designed as a 
2D powerhouse at a time when the 
industry was embracing 3D. 
Consequently, as tech specs for 
Sony's forthcoming PlayStation 
began to trickle through, SEGA 
panicked and attempted to beef up 
the machine's architecture. Thus the 
Saturn's 3D capabilities became 
more than a match for Sony's 
system, but the bottlenecks created 
by the redesigned chip set made the 
Saturn unpopular with many third- 
party (as well as SEGA's) developers. 

That said, the machine (which 
took a commercial pounding from 
the PSone) is still loved by loyal 
SEGA fans. Only the Neo Geo 
boasts a better collection of 2D 
beat-'em-ups (but only just). Fine 
conversions such as SEGA Rally 
and Elevator Action Returns, and 
original games like Guardian 
Heroes, have secured the machine's 




The red visuals of the game often made it slightly 
tricky to determine what was going on, as Galacth 
Pinball illustrates with aplomb. 



images that greeted the player 



general feelings of nausea. Worse 
still, the games themselves (and 
there weren't many) were largely 
simplistic affairs (fishing or boxing 
titles, for example) that lacked the 
oomph of Nintendo's finer creations. 

The machine didn't fare well in 
Japan and wasn't even released in 
the UK. That said, in the seven years 
since its release the Virtual Boy has 
become increasingly collectable and 
if you own one we'd advise you to 
hang onto it as the machine is only 
likely to increase in value over the 
coming years. Although it may not 
appeal to everyone, those in search 
of one of gaming's more unusual 



FIVE RECOMMENDED GAMES 

■ Radiant Silvergun 

■ Fighters Megamix 

■ Ages (includes a fine 
conversion of Out Run) 

■ Panzer Dragoon Saga 

■ Athlete Kings 



near legendary status 
among gamers in the know. 

SOFTWARE 

Most PAL titles can be picked up for 
less than a tenner, some for as little as 
£2.99. But if you're after rare classics 
like Treasure's fantastic shoot-'em-up 
Radiant Silvergun (Japanese release 
only) then you could be looking at 
shelling out up to £160-170. 



WHERE TO LOOK 

UK machines can be picked up for next 
to nothing (second-hand software 
stores and eBay are your best bet), 
whilst modified 'switched' consoles 
that allow you to play games from all 
regions can be acquired for about 
£60-70. If you don't already own one, 
then you really should track down a 
Saturn and buy it. 



BBC MICRO 



FIVE RECOMMENDED GAMES 

■ Mario Clash 

■ Teleroboxer 

■ Galactic Pinball 

■ Mario Tennis 

■ Virtual Fishing 



creations would do well to look 
around for a Virtual Boy. 

SOFTWARE 

As far as the Virtual Boy was 
concerned, quality releases were 



aficionados will probably want to get 
their hands on Mario Tennis and 
Mario Clash. Expect to pay 
somewhere in the region of £30 for 
most of the software, although this 
will vary depending on the title. 



I WHERE TO LOOK l 

As always, eBay is a good place to 
start, but many independent specialist 
videogame outlets often have a few 
Virtual Boys for sale. In terms of price, 
a boxed unit in good condition is likely 
to set you back at least £100, but 
determined collectors have stumbled 
upon the system for less than this. 



4 




RECOMMENDED PRICE: 



£40-50 depending on model 
and condition 



Ithough the Acorn-developed 
computer was widely regarded 
as the system for 'posh' kids with 
over-enthusiastic parents, the 
machine actually played host to 
some exceptionally well-crafted 
software including, among others, 
the original version of Elite and 
Aviator, a technically impressive flight 
sim from a young Geoff Crammond. 

Designed with an eye on the 
seemingly lucrative education 
market, the machine's relatively high 
launch price of £399 ensured that 
rival (and, crucially, cheaper) 
platforms such as the ZX Spectrum 
appealed to a broader market. The 
computer came in several different 
flavours, although the most 
successful was the BBC 
Microcomputer Model B. 

While it lacked the diversity in 
software of contemporaries such as 
the C64 and ZX Spectrum, a number 
of publishers including Acornsoft, 
Superior Software and MicroPower 
ensured that the system was 
supported with some fantastic 
releases. These ranged from 
unashamed clones of popular arcade 




FIVE RECOMMENDED GAMES 

■ Repton 

■ Citadel 



Repton is one of the most fondly remembered titles 
on the machine. A number of sequels followed. 



The BBC could produce detailed and colourful 
graphics - witness the excellent Planetoid 

games (Snapper, Planetoid) to a 
clutch of original titles (Exile, Citadel, 
Revs). The quality keyboard also 
marked it out as a superior platform. 

SOFTWARE 

As stated, there are some fine 
games available for this machine, 
many of which are exclusive to the 
system. There's no reason why you 
should have to pay the earth for 
older titles, and if you're willing to 
invest some time in your search 
then you should be able to pick up 
some classics for less than a tenner. 



WHERE TO LOOK. 

Your first port of call here will probably 
be eBay as the BBC Micro is not the 
sort of machine you're likely to find in 
an independent videogame store. Then, 
of course, there's our old friend the car 
boot sale. Prices will vary wildly, but 
for a Model B in working order you're 
probably looking at coughing up 
around £40-50. 





ESCAPE (Spectrum 



in Crash magazine, Nover 



158 games™ 



ESSENTIALS 

TOO MANY GAMES, NOT ENOUGH MONEY. THANKFULLY THOUGH, NOT ALL OF 
THEM ARE WORTH SPENDING YOUR HARD-EARNED CASH ON. IF YOU WANT TO 
TASTE THE CREAM OF THE CROP, YOU'VE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE. . . 



PLAYSTATION2 




MANUFACTURER 

Sony 

UK LAUNCH DATE 

24 November 2000 
MEDIA 

4.75-inch DVD Disc 
CURRENT PRICE 

£169.99 



1 Ico 



2 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 



3 TimeSplitters 2 



4 Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 



5 Pro Evolution 2 



6 Burnout 2 



7 Devil May Cry 



8 Rez 



9 Colin McRae Rally 3 



10 Kingdom Hearts 



11 Sky Odyssey 



12 Final Fantasy X 



13 CapcomVSSNK2 



14 Ape Escape 2 



15 Hitman 2: Silent Assassin 



16 Project Zero 



17 Marvel VSCapcom 2 



18 Shinobi 



The oldest of the next-generation 
consoles, having had well over a 
year's headstart over both the 
GameCube and Xbox. With support 
across the board from third-party 
developers, a built-in DVD player 
and backward compatibility with 
older PSone games, it's the most 
popular videogame console 
available today. 



Publisher Developer 



SCEE 



In-House 



Take 2 



Rockstar 



Eidos 



Free Radical 



Activision 



Neversoft 



Konami 



In-House 



Acclaim 



Criterion 



Capcom 



In-House 



SEGA 



UGA 



Codemasters 



In-House 



SCEE 



Squaresoft 



Sony 



Cross 



SCEE 



Squaresoft 



Capcom 



In-House 



Sony 



In-House 



Eidos 



lo Interactive 



Wanadoo 



Tecmo 



Capcom 



In-House 



SEGA 



Overworks 



19 Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance HEE Konami 



In-House 



20 Legaia 2: Duel Saga 



Eidos 



Prokion 




VIEWPOINT 
GTA: VICE CITY 

You won't sway us - it's a really 
great game, but no amount of 
nagging will make us admit that 
it's the best game on the PS2 at 
the moment. Of course, that might 
be because the game wiped over 
our virtually complete save file 
without any provocation. Git. 




VIEWPOINT 
BURNOUT 2 

It may still be fairly new but 
Criterion has produced a racer 
strong enough to topple even 
Gran Turismo 3 from the top spot. 
High-speed thrills and spills are 
the order of the day here - not one 
for those who suffer from 
motion sickness. 






VIEWPOINT 
CAPCOM VS SNK 2 

Yes, we're huge fans of Capcom's 
seminal StreetFighter series... so 
sue us. Surprisingly though, this 
cross-over is easily one of our 
favourites so far - even more so 
than the over-the-top Marvel Vs 
Capcom 2. Maybe it's thanks to 
our soft spot for good old SNK. 




VIEWPOINT 

LEGAIA 2: DUEL SAGA 

Fresh Games has been bringing 
us quirky Japanese games for 
some time now, but this sleeper 
RPG was a wonderful surprise. 
Epic, ingenious and thoroughly 
enjoyable, Legaia 2 is an incredibly 
deep roleplayer that will probably 
last you until Final Fantasy X-2. 




160 games™ 



GAMECUBE 




MANUFACTURER 

Nintendo 

UK LAUNCH DATE 

3 May 2002 
MEDIA 

3-inch Optical Disc 
CURRENT PRICE 

£129.99 



1 Metroid Prime 



4 TimeSplitters 2 



5 Super Mario Sunshine 



6 Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 



7 Eternal Darkness 



8 Resident Evil 



9 Mario Party 4 



10 StarFox Adventures 



11 Star Wars: Rogue Leader 



12 Bomberman Generation 



13 SEGA Soccer Slam 



14 Super Monkey Ball 



15 Aggressive Inline 



16 Doshin The Giant 



Although it's the cheapest machine 
on the market, Nintendo's newest 
console shouldn't be under- 
estimated. The firm's long- 
established experience in games 
means that the GameCube can 
expect to see many quality first- and 
third-party games in the future. 
Primarily a games machine, the 
GameCube has no DVD function. 



lOJiAlVi^ll 


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No. Title 








Publisher 


Developer | 



MEM Nintendo 



In-House 



2 Super Monkey Ball 2 


BH SEGA 


Amusement Vision 






3 Animal Crossing 


HS Nintendo 


In-House 



Eidos 



ee Radical 



Nintendo 



In-House 



Activision 



Neversoft 



Nintendo 



Silicon Knights 



Capcom 



In-House 



Nintendo 



Hudson 



Nintendo 



Rare 



Activision 



Factor 5 



UHi Majesco 



Hudson 



SEGA 



Black Box 



SEGA 



Amusement Vision 



Acclaim 



Z-Axis 



Nintendo 



In-House 



17 Super Smash Brothers Melee 



Nintendo 



In-House 



18 Virtua Striker 3 ver.2002 



SEGA 



Amusement Vision 



19 Pikmin 



Nintendo 



In-House 



20 Beach Spikers 



SEGA 



AM2 




VIEWPOINT 
ANIMAL CROSSING 

Not a single day has gone by since 
we bought our copies of Animal 
Crossing that we haven't played it 
- yes, it's that compulsive. 
Considering the game is supposed 
to have a lifespan of 30 years, it 
looks like we'll be playing it for a 
long time to come... 




VIEWPOINT 
DOSHIN THE GIANT 

If you're one of those people who 
overlooked the adventures of this 
huge yellow man, then you've 
missed out on something special. 
It might not look like much but, 
like Animal Crossing, Doshin 
offers a playing experience like 
nothing you've ever seen before. 




VIEWPOINT 
RESIDENT EVIL 

Zombies, argggh. It's no shock to 
see that Capcom's remake of the 
essential Survival Horror game 
has sold more than its fair share of 
GameCubes, which can only be a 
good thing. Seeing as we've now 
got our hands on RE Zero though, 
it's becoming a distant memory... 




VIEWPOINT 

BOMBERMAN 

GENERATION 

We've been enjoying blowing 
each other up for months now, 
thanks to the joys of import 
gaming... but seeing as Vivendi 
slipped it onto the shelves just 
before Christmas without telling 
anyone, you can too. Yay. 




games™ 161 



ESSENTIALS 

TOO MANY GAMES, NOT ENOUGH MONEY. THANKFULLY THOUGH, NOT ALL OF 
THEM ARE WORTH SPENDING YOUR HARD-EARNED CASH ON. IF YOU WANT TO 
TASTE THE CREAM OF THE CROP, YOU'VE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE. . . 



XBOX 




MANUFACTURER 

Microsoft 

UK LAUNCH DATE 
13 March 2002 
MEDIA 

4.75-inch DVD Disc 
CURRENT PRICE 
£159.99 



Despite a slow start, the Xbox is 
swiftly becoming one of the major 
players in today's console market. 
Suggestions that the machine is 
only a 'PC in a box' are founded 
upon the built-in hard drive, 
broadband support and DVD player. 
However, the Xbox is far more 
accessible to the casual gamer than 
most PCs. 




1 Halo 



2 Jet Set Radio Future 



3 TimeSplitters 2 



4 Splinter Cell 



5 Colin McRae Rally 3 



6 Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 



7 Project Gotham Racing 



8 Aggressive Inline 



9 Dead Or Alive 3 



1 Hitman 2: Silent Assassin 



11 Quantum Redshift 



12 Buffy The Vampire Slayer 



13 Phantom Crash 



1 4 Blinx: The Time Sweeper 



15 Outlaw Golf 



16 Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2 



17 Commandos 2: Men Of Courage 



18 Toejam & Earl III: Mission To Earth 



19 Transworld Snowboarding 



20 House Of The Dead 3 



Publisher Developer 



Microsoft 



Bungie 



SEGA 



Smilebit 



Eidos 



Free Radical 



Ubi Soft 



In-House 



CodeMasters 



In-House 



Activision 



Neversoft 



Microsoft Bizarre Creations 



Acclaim 



Z-Axis 



Microsoft 



Tecmo 



Eidos 



lo Interactive 



Microsoft Curly Monsters 



EA 



In-House 



Phantagram 



In-House 



Microsoft 



Artoon 



TDKMediactive Hypnotixlnc 



Activision HotGen Studios 



Eidos 



In-House 



SEGA 



TJ&E Productions 



Infogrames Housemarque 



SEGA WOW Entertainment 



VIEWPOINT 

JET SET RADIO FUTURE 

Seeing as this is one half of the 
pack that comes free with every 
Xbox these days, there's no 
excuse to not play through SEGA's 
rather amazing eel-shaded skating 
extravaganza. We've already done 
it twice and we still play it - talk 
about replay value. 




VIEWPOINT 
TONY HAWK 4 

Damn that Tony Hawk, damn him 
to hell. Just when we thought that 
we wouldn't have to play through 
his latest effort (having finished 
the PS2 version), the Xbox version 
arrived... and we just had to do it 
all over again. As if we haven't got 
enough on our hands. 




VIEWPOINT 
SPLINTER CELL 

Solid Snake had better be looking 
over his shoulder when Sam 
Fisher's around - Ubi Soft's secret 
agent man is a far better bet if 
you're looking for a top-notch 
sneak-'em-up. Now that it's 
coming to other consoles though, 
we're even more excited. 



■ 





VIEWPOINT 
QUANTUM REDSHIFT 

\lo, it's not as good as WipEout on 
the PS2, but seeing as the Xbox 
doesn't have anything like it, we're 
more than happy to take Quantum 
Redshift instead. Fast, furious and 
rantic fun - everything you could 
possibly want from a futuristic 
racing game. So nerrrr. 




P^^^JJi^0t^\^^H^S 











162 games™ 




L__*»-^^^fc 








GBA 



MANUFACTURER 

Nintendo 

UK LAUNCH DATE 

22 June 2001 

MEDIA 

Flash Cartridge 

CURRENT PRICE 

£69.99 





Ideal for gaming on the move, the 
GBA is a cheap and effective way of 
getting games to those who don't 
have time to sit down and play. The 
leaps in handheld technology mean 
that GBA games are now more 
accomplished and can even be 
compared favourably to their 
console-based cousins. No mean 
feat for such a small machine. 



IMsll^lftLli: 


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JilHYi^M* 


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| No. Title 








Publisher 


Developer | 



1 Metroid Fusion 



Nintendo 



2 Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe 



Wanadoo 



3 Castlevania: Harmony Of Dissonance 



Konami 



4 Golden Sun 



Nintendo 



5 Advance Wars 



Nintendo 



6 Street Fighter Alpha 3 



Ubi Soft 



7 Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island 



Nintendo 



8 Pinball Challenge Deluxe 



Ubi Soft 



9 Sonic Advance 



SEGA 



10 Mario Kart Super Circuit 



Nintendo 



In-House 



Crawfish 



In-House 



Camelot 



In-House 



Crawfish 



In-House 



Binary 9 



Sonic Team 



In-House 




MANUFACTURER 

N/A 

UK LAUNCH DATE 

N/A 
MEDIA 

4.75-inch CD/DVD Disc 
CURRENT PRICE 

Evariable 



llr~ 



While primarily bought as a work 
platform, the PC has swiftly become 
the haven of the more 'mature' 
gamer. With its natural ability for 
online and LAN play, it is perfectly 
tailored for the FPS, strategy and 
MMORPG genres. However, it can 
cost a fortune to keep a PC up to 
date and running fast enough to 
support flashy graphics. 




1 Unreal Tournament 2003 



Infogrames Digital Extremes 



2 Grand Theft Auto 3 



Take 2 



Rockstar 



3 No One Lives Forever 2 



Vivendi 



Monolith 



4 Operation: Flashpoint 



Codemasters 



In-House 



5 Sim City 4 



EA 



Maxis 



6 Hitman 2: Silent Assassin 



Eidos 



lo Interactive 



7 The Sims 



EA 



Maxis 



8 Counter- Strike 



Vivendi 



Gearbox Software 



9 Half-Life 



Vivendi 



Valve 



10 Civilization III 



Infogrames 



Firaxis 



VIEWPOINT 
CASTLEVANIA: HOD 

Okay, so maybe it's not quite as 
good as Symphony Of The Night 
to some people, but as far as GBA 
Castlevania games go, HOD is 
easily the best one around. 






■ 


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■ 


" "- i 


■ "-, - 


* l - * -^. 











VIEWPOINT 

PINBALL CHALLENGE 

It's Pinball Dreams... and Pinball 
Fantasies... on one cartridge. What 
more could you possibly want 
from a GBA game, eh? Old-school 
with a capital, er, everything. 




VIEWPOINT 

NO ONE LIVES FOREVER 2 

James Bond might be the spy 
every man wants to be, but Cate 
Archer is definitely the one they all 
want. In a strictly videogame sense, 
of course. Honest. 




VIEWPOINT 
HITMAN 2 

Eidos's rather impressive 
multiformat hit is definitely worth 
the investment on the PC - the 
silent-but-deadly style suits the 
format down to the ground. 






games™ 163 



PERIPHERALS 

THEY MAY NOT BE EVERYONE'S CUP OF TEA, BUT EACH CONSOLE HAS ITS OWN MUST- 
HAVE PERIPHERALS - THOSE LITTLE EXTRAS THAT MAKE THE GAMING EXPERIENCE ALL 
THE MORE PLEASURABLE. YOU WONT BE ABLE TO KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF THEM. 



WAVEBIRD 





Controller leads - the bane of any gamer's 
existence. Usually, they're too short which 
means you have to sit with your nose 
pressed up against the screen, but when you 
put them away you end up with a mess of 
wires and a potential health and safety 
violation. There is an easier way around it all 
though, with the WaveBird -the first 
controller made for a games console that 
works on radio waves. Forget infra-red and 
having to keep your controller in plain sight 
of the receiver, because the WaveBird lets 
you go almost anywhere you want - we 
found ourselves standing 
at the bus stop while still 
playing WaveRace. 
Combine that with 
the enormous 
battery life and 
you've got yourself 
the essential 
GameCube 
controller -although 
it's a bit pricey if 
you want to get 
four of them. 




CONTROLLER S 



Even though a lot of people will have got 
used to the somewhat bulkier Xbox pad by 
now, we've never really been comfortable 
using it - the whole thing felt too clumsy 
and large for our admittedly small and elfish 
hands. In fact, that's the whole reason that 
we went out and spent a ridiculous amount 
of cash on the smaller Japanese Xbox 
controller... before finding out they were 
coming out over here as well. Duh. In any 
case, the Controller S (as 
they're now known) is 
now the standard pad 
packaged with all new 
Xbox consoles but if 

you haven't got 
i one, now's the 
^ time to go and 
invest. You'll 
never go back 
to your old 
pads once 
you've used 
1 a Controller 
f S. Promise. 



RACING WHEEL 




PERIPHERAL 

Official WilliamsFI 
Team Racing Wheel 

FROM 

JOYTECH 
CURRENT PRICE 

£44.99 




They might not be the most essential piece 
of kit when it comes to buying a console, but 
picking out a steering wheel is quite a big 
deal - especially if you're a full-on racing 
enthusiast. Unfortunately, most of the 
steering wheels out there today (including 
the so-called 'official' wheels) aren't much to 
shout about, but now there's a wheel that's 
available for all consoles that does the job 
perfectly. With its analogue pedals and 
steering, smooth gearstick and paddles, 
detachable wheel and lock-on lap rest, 

JOYTECH's add-on is a fine effort. 
Okay, so it looks rather garish 
and should probably come in 
black rather than Fisher Price 
colours, but for performance 
there's nothing 
better on the 
market today - 
surprising, 
considering it's a 
third-party 
peripheral. 



FLO-UGHT 




Game Boy Advance 
FROM 
Gamester 
CURRENT PRICE 
£12.99 
AVAILABLE 
Now 




Now you can play 
your GBA anywhere. 
In a disused mine, for 
instance. Or a well. 



Yes, it's the biggest selling handheld games 
console around at the moment, but that 
doesn't stop the Game Boy Advance from 
having a major flaw - it's too damn dark. 
The lack of a back-lit screen makes playing 
games in broad daylight tricky (and 
absolutely impossible in the dark), but 
thankfully help is at hand. The Gamester Flo- 
Light clips neatly over the face of the GBA 
and flips up to shine light over the 

screen from above. It can be 
clicked into a number of 
positions and the swivel 
fluorescent bulb means it's 
easy to reduce glare. 
What's more, it folds down 
into a compact position 
when you're not using it and 
doesn't eat up batteries. If 
you're as compulsive about 
your GBA as we are (and 
don't dare try and have an 
Afterburner fitted), then the 
Flo-Light is essential. 



NEXT MONTH 




So, that's issue 2. Did you like what you saw? Did ya? Good, that's exactly 
what we wanted to hear. Not surprisingly though, next issue's going to be just 
as packed with goodness. And it's only four weeks away... 



MORE... 
PREVIEWS 

No matter which system 
you've got, we'll have the 
previews that matter most. 
What's more, we'll be talking 
to the people behind the 
scenes to find out the most 
exclusive information we can. 



MORE... 
REVIEWS 

There are some big games 
coming out in the next few 
months, so naturally we'll be 
reviewing the best of them. 
We've got RE Zero, Panzer 
Dragoon, Mortal Kombat and 
much, much more... 




MORE... 
FEATURES 

Old consoles don't die - they 
just move onto bigger and 
better things. We'll be 
looking at the developers 
who still make games for 
systems you thought had 
long since met their maker. . . 




Of course, that's only a taster of what's in store for you in issue 3 
of games™ - you'll have to buy it to find out more. And yes, it'll 
still be 180 pages, despite the fact that we've got half the time 
to write it in than this issue. We've already brought our 
sleeping bags into the office - you know, just in case. 

ON SALE 20 FEB 03 L 



INCLUDING 

And still more besides. . . 

More... Retro 

Too cool for the old-school 

More... News 

More up-to-date than ITN 

More... Interviews 

Interesting people and 
lots of them 




172 games 





RIAL. 
KOMBAT 

fidway's seminal beat-'em-up is back 
d bloodier than ever. Check it out in 
next month's games™ 



P 










ESSENTIAL 
GAMING 



CONTACT I YOUR LETTERS 



•MMud 



ILLUMINATING THE WORLD OF 



YOU SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON 
THE STATE OF VIDEOGAMES. . . 

We're trying to promote debate or, at the very least, decent letters so we've made it 
as easy as possible to contact us. Please don't send us letters asking us about 
release dates of games (you'll find a pretty accurate release schedule on page 38) 
and no, we don't give out cheats or agree with statements about Bill Gates's 
illegitimacy. Sorry, but we're just in it for the games... 



MAKING CONTACT 



D There are many wonderful ways to get in touch 
with games™, the traditional postal method is 
perfectly acceptable using the address below: 

games™ 

Paragon Publishing Ltd 
Paragon House 
St Peter's Road 
Bournemouth 
BH1 2JS 

□ However, there are quicker ways to reach us 
thanks to the technological marvel that is the 
Internet. Email us at this address: 
gamestm@paragon.co.uk 

□ Alternatively, why not get yourself on our 
dedicated forum? Here you should be shielded 
from multiple spams and infantile remarks. 
Access to the site has been password protected 
and only those of you who have bought this issue 
of games™ will be able to get onto the site - and 
if you have bought this magazine then you're not 
the sort to be abusive and childish, are you? 
Follow these quick steps to getting on the 
games™ forum and enjoy hassle-free chatting 
with those of us who share a passion for gaming. 

□ Step One: 

Get yourself online. Ifs fairly simple, we're sure 
you'll think of something. 

□ Step Two: 

Type the following into the Net Browser window: 
www.totalgames.net/forum/ 
This will give you read-only access to the forum. 
To get in on the fun, you'll have to register - you 
can do that by clicking on the 'register' icon at the 
top of the page. Fill in your details, choose a 
name and then wait for a password to be 
emailed to you (which will arrive in no time). 

□ Step Three: 

Once registered, click on the games™ forum 
icon. You'll need the password, and that's 
'cockney'. Then a whole world of sophisticated 
wit and games chat will be yours. It says here. 



174 games™ 



□ I BOUGHT THE first issue of your magazine 
and have to say I was thoroughly impressed 
with the whole package. Praise out of the way, I 
have to say I am particularly worried about 
what will happen to Nintendo's place in the 
games industry in the West. Unlike Microsoft, it 
doesn't have bottomless pockets and is not 
able to pump limitless amounts of cash into 
advertising and other hype-inducing methods. 
A fair few adult gamers view Nintendo as too 
'kiddie' and would rather plump for the Xbox or 
PS2. The younger generation, on the other 
hand, believe that the GameCube doesn't have 
enough credibility and fear ridicule if they buy 
one. That just leaves us - the real gamers, who 
respect games that are original and fun to play. 
Nintendo will always have its loyal fans, but will 
that be enough to sustain a serious challenge to 
rival consoles, both now and in the future? I 
have to say I fear the worst... 
James Reed 

We understand your frustration, but the fact 
remains that Nintendo has more than enough 
money to spend on advertising but chooses to 
rely on the merits of its games, and not without 
good reason. Titles such as Zelda and Mario 
Sunshine will always shift consoles and games 
such as the Resident Evil series and Metroid 
have helped increase hardware sales in the US. 
While we're alarmed at Nintendo's seemingly 
lacklustre approach to pushing its hardware and 
software - especially considering Microsoft's 
increasingly aggressive pricing policy -there's 
little doubt that Nintendo is now beginning to 
work much harder. Few could have failed to 
notice the furtive attempts to advertise 
GameCube games in the run up to Christmas. 



Nintendo has obviously spent money to 
promote games such as StarFox Adventures, 
which is a step in the right direction. As the most 
established console manufacturer, it's sad to see 
Nintendo seemingly floundering around and 
losing ground to the yappy upstart that is 
Microsoft. However, there's little doubt that few 
developers can produce games like Nintendo. 
Perhaps that's the point - Xbox and PS2 might 
be shifting by the bucket load, but does that 
really matter? As long as there are enough of us 
out there to ensure that Nintendo's products sell, 
then Nintendo need not get involved in spending 
huge amounts of money on advertising. . . 

□ I VISIT MY local game store and see too 
many cheap, shoddy, badly thought-out 
excuses for video games. If you look over to 
the GameCube section (albeit the console with 
the most original games) it still has too many 
ports [Medal of Honor: Frontline and Jedi 
Knight 2 spring to mind) and you always get a 
dump deal from companies like Konami, who 
seem to think the only titles to release on a 
console are Mickey Mouse games. 

You look over to the Xbox area and 
Microsoft is clearly sweating. The corporate 
monster is so stuck for good games it has 
resorted to buying out any company that won't 
develop for it and releasing stupidly low-priced 
bundles. But for Microsoft, things can only get 
better (they can't exactly get any worse, can 
they?) - it has a fantastic array of games 
coming out and it is not just relying on ports. 

Then we come to the PS2. 1 am very 
displeased with the current state of the PS2 - it 
has approximately one good, original game 
coming out (The Getaway) although that 



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'NINTENDO WILL ALWAYS HAVE ITS LOYAL FANS, 
BUT WILL THAT BE ENOUGH TO SUSTAIN A 
SERIOUS CHALLENGE TO RIVAL CONSOLES?" 



seems like it will be borrowing ideas from a 
rather popular crime simulator. Then again, it 
has the widest choice of games and is usually 
the cheapest -this attracts casual gamers. I do 
not think it is fair to criticise these people - they 
are one of the main reasons that the 
videogames industry is growing more popular 
every day. But this is why the PS2 will win 
every time. Depressing, isn't it, that FIFA 2003 
and Scooby Doo are going to decide the 
mainstream path of the videogame industry. 

But there is light at the end of the very long 
tunnel. GameCube has Animal Crossing and 
Zelda coming out - both will be very popular 
and amazing. The Xbox is getting more 
support and mainstream games are coming 
out every day (which can only be a good thing) 
and the PS2 will hopefully be getting some 
originality coming in the next year. 
Matthew Newell 

It is difficult not to be snobbish about games 
and so-called 'casual gamers' sometimes. 
We're not necessarily massively keen on the 
FIFA series (for example) but many people are 
- and who are we to judge? One man's meat is 
another man's poison, and all that... 

□ CONGRATULATIONS ON AN excellent first 
issue and if you continue to devote as many 
pages to Retro gaming in future issues then 
you can be sure that I will not miss an issue. It's 
about time a mainstream magazine gave credit 
to our gaming heritage rather than a token 
one-page effort. I am not accustomed to 
writing to magazines and even though my loft 
will probably collapse under the weight of all 
those different gaming mags I have read and 



collected over the years, this is the first time I 
have felt the urge to actually put pen to paper. 

I have been playing video games since the 
'bat and ball' days and I feel extremely 
fortunate to have had first-hand experience of 
both arcade and home gaming through the last 
30-odd years. It is a crying shame that the 
games players of today, or even ten years ago, 
have missed out on the impact of some of the 
early games back in the good old days. 

You've probably guessed by now that I am a 
retro game fan and for the past five years have 
been a part-time collector. So that makes me a 
crusty old git who rants and raves how it was 
much better back in the good old days and 
today's games are a load of old tat. Whilst this 
is true to some degree, I cannot say that there 
haven't been some absolute gems in terms of 
both hardware and software in the lead up to 
today's 128-bit heroes. I would be a fool not to 
acknowledge landmark titles such as Super 
Mario Bros, GoldenEye, Gran Turismo, Virtua 
Tennis... I could go on to list a dozen more. 

However, am I the only one who often feels 
that the majority of games released over the 
last few years just don't have the magnetic 
attraction that begs for more play? You know, 
the 'oh, just one more go' factor at three in the 
morning after saying the same thing since 
10pm the night before. If I was to make a list of 
games to re-visit because they had that special 
something, then the games released in the 
Eighties would far outweigh those in the 
Nineties and probably 2000 onwards. Granted, 
they look old and crusty, like me, but the play 
mechanics and magic factor are still present in 
many of those classics and I feel that this is 
something that has often been overlooked in 



O 



CONTACT I YOUR LETTERS 



•MMud 



ILLUMINATING THE WORLD OF 



TEXT LIFE... 



□ With regard to the Fairplay campaign, I 
didn't buy any games that week. Mind 
you, I was skint. 

Unfortunately, thaf s a situation we're all 
too familiar with. Well done for supporting 
the cause though... 

□ I've read about EA releasing cheap 
games over in Australia. Is there any 
chance of that happening over here? 

The Australian market is much less buoyant 
than over here. Our guess is that EA will be 
much less inclined to release a budget 
range in the UK. 

□ Any news on a Freeloader release date? 
Finally? 

The delayed Freeloader should be out as 
you read this, but don't bank on it... 

□ Great mag, love the Retro section. How 
about a look at Dungeon Master? 

Expect to see it in the Retro section very 
soon indeed. 

□ Got any cheats for Nightfire on PS2. 
Grrrrr. We don't do requests... 

□ I was thinking of buying a new games 
console but I can't decide which is the 
best. Which one would you recommend 
out of the PS2, Xbox or GameCube? 

As far as it goes, there's no such thing as 
'best'. The PS2 has the most games and is 
most expensive. The Xbox is the most 
powerful and, if you shop around, it's also 
the cheapest. However, don't ignore the 
GameCube as it has an incredibly exciting 
line up for 2003. The decision, however, 
is yours. 

□ SEGA GT2002 is one of the best games 
ever. Unreal Championship is good but 
too jerky. 

Er, thanks. 



176 games™ 







With exclusive games like Metroid 

Prime coming to the GameCube, 

you can be sure that gamers are 

going to be more than satisfied 

with Nintendo's 2003 line-up. 

games released in more recent times. 

Since I started collecting videogames, I have 
often gone back to more recent consoles and 
found some gaming greats that I had 
dismissed upon release. I can only guess that 
this was either due to the current top titles of 
that time overshadowing the release or the 
magazine reviews had given an undeservedly 
low rating due to the retro-style play or lack of 
visual flair. I suspect that there are very few 
magazine game reviewers over the age of 30, 
which would probably explain the lack of 
understanding of the older styles of game. 
That's progress for you. Retro games will 
always remain close to my heart and I will 
always enjoy revisiting them for a quick fix, but 
in reality I yearn for a much higher percentage 
of new releases that manage to awaken that 
special feeling all over again. But then again, 
we can all dream. 

Just time to wish you luck with the mag 
before I pop up to find that bottle of Grecian 
2000 in the bathroom cabinet. Think it was next 
to the Old Spice... 
Tony Redpath 

This is a popular train of thought: old games 
were better than those released today. The 
explanation for this is simple - when we were 
younger we invested more time playing games 
that looked pretty simple (by comparison to 
today's games) so we had to use our 
imagination a bit more to get properly 
immersed. Today however, much of the work is 
done for us, and it would be fair to say that 
some games rely far too heavily on graphical 
and audio finesse rather than the gameplay. But 
there are many recent games that have 




captivated us in the way you describe. Halo, 
TimeSplitters 2 (in multi player), Metroid Prime. . . 
Even games from the 32- and 64-bit era forced 
us to deprive ourselves of sleep. There are now 
more games being produced than ever so, 
logically, more of them are feeble. However, 
those halcyon days when you enjoyed gaming 
even more had plenty of duff games - it's just 
that you remember them more fondly. 

□ I READ WITH interest about the FairPlay 
campaign (games™, issue 1), and I'd like to 
say that I, for one, will not be taking part in this 
stupid protest. 

I remember reading somewhere an 
interesting little letter from someone else, it 
was probably in A/MS about five or six years 
ago, but the person who wrote in told a story. 
He was looking at games in a shop and saw 
Tomb Raider 2 Tor £40. He made a comment 
about it being a rip-off to his father, who 
pointed out that although technology is 
improving all the time, the game prices have 
stayed the same. 

In relation to a £40 NES title, a £40 
PlayStation (or, these days, PS2 or GameCube) 
game is incredibly cheap considering you're 
getting a package that is bigger, better and 
(hopefully) better value than the £40 titles 
of yesteryear. 

We never complained about paying £50 for 
Donkey Kong Country back in 1994. Heck, 
some of us quite happily got Turokfor the N64 
for £80 upon its release. People should take a 
good long look at it in a different perspective 
for once. 

On the other hand, www.dvdboxoffice.com 
can get you import games for £30 or less, with 







FROM THE FORUM 

The battle of the consoles continues to be at the forefront of your minds. . . 




free shipping worldwide, so I get all my stuff 
from there these days anyway. 
P. Smart 

The pricing of games is a difficult issue. You're 
right to point out that games have got cheaper 
in real terms, but we have agree to some 
extent with the FairPlay campaign. If games 
were cheaper surely more titles would be sold, 
which would make gaming more popular. The 
real issue is that while some games offer more 
than enough bang for your buck, others seem 
to be criminally overpriced. For every Halo 
there's a Turok Evolution or a similarly over- 
hyped, poorly-executed product demanding 
£45. Unfortunately, it's the shoddy games that 
make gaming seem expensive, but there seem 
to be plenty of people that are prepared to pay 
the money for just about anything. Perhaps the 
FairPlay campaign should be about the quality 
of games rather than the cost. 

□ I DONT KNOW if ifs just me here, but is it 
really vital that Nintendo sheds its 'kiddie' image? 
The casual gamer may still overlook Nintendo, 
but if ifs making a profit should it really care? In 
Japan this image doesn't really matter. 

Us Nintendo fans here in the UK may take a 
bit of criticism from our casual gamer friends, 
but to be honest this doesn't bother me in the 
slightest. My mates may laugh at me because 
one of my most wanted games is Animal 



2002 was a vintage year for 
gamesplayers, with two new 
consoles and a raft of high quality 
games launched in the UK. 
Anyone for Pong? Nah, we'll stick 
with TimeSplitters 2, Halo, Super 
Mario Sunshine. . . 



Crossing and it looks 'kiddie', but at the end of 
the day I'll be playing a cracking and innovative 
game whilst they'll be missing out and instead 
be playing Final Fantasy 27 and Metal Gear 
Solid 6. Nintendo makes top-notch games, 
whatever their appearance, and as long as this 
continues it'll have my full support. 
Chris Walker 

And in a similar vein... 

□ I THINK THAT although Nintendo is trying to 
shed its 'kiddie' image, it is still not quite doing 
enough. If Nintendo come good with this big 
announcement happening very soon, then 
hopefully there will be more first-party mature 
titles. Let's be brutally honest here, what 
mature (and good) games have Sony released 
recently? And, given the choice, would you 
rather play a good 'kiddie' game or a poor 
mature game? I think the choice is obvious. 

If a parent of a child aged under 12 goes into 
a game store and sees Xbox pushing Splinter 
Cell and Sony pushing GTA: Vice City, which 
are both unsuitable for younger gamers, they 
will also see Nintendo pushing games like SFA 
and Super Mario Sunshine and I'm sure that 
they will look at GameCube. This is one reason 
why shedding their kiddie image isn't 
necessarily the most important thing for 
Nintendo to do at the moment. 
'Knuckles', from the forum 



D Kincaide / Junior Member / Member # 2050 
Posted 27 November 2002 01:49 PM 

Nobody would deny that PS2 is way ahead for this generation - 
but second place is not yet certain. Over the past few weeks I 
believe there has been a shift as the Xbox overtakes the 
GameCube. From a casual buyer's point of view, the curre 
package with two games as standard beats the GameCube 
Sunshine package. Also, the much-hyped Xbox Live is getting 
tabloid press that is raising awareness of the console. The main 
factor appears to be that people are choosing Xbox over 
GameCube because of the sheer amount of titles available. The 
quality of these titles is rarely discussed, rather the quantity. Does 
anybody else have any observations about the way the 'second 



D Mario Mario / Junior Member / Member # 2346 
Posted 27 November 2002 02:06 PM 

Frankly it would seem that Microsoft will win the Christmas war 
but this is more due to the amount of money Mil 
Nintendo will make a bigger profit at Christmas thanks to cheaper 
hardware costs and more first-party games that sell more. I think 
that the focus is always on Nintendo Vs. Microsoft, which is 
wrong. If Microsoft wants to do well it needs to topple Sony - it 
also relies upon a massive user base and huge third-party support 

D Kincaide / Junior Member / Member # 2050 
Posted 27 November 2002 02:15 PM 

Fair point. Although Microsoft consistently states that it is in this for 
the long term. I think it views the Xbox as a wedge in the door into 
the games console market. Xbox will establish its name then the 
next console will be able to use the Xbox base. 



D Kincaide / Junior Member / Member # 2050 
Posted 28 November 2002 10:49 AM 

If the current trend continues, Xbox could create qui 
the Gamecube. The Cube has got Metroid Prime an 
coming next year - but will that be too late? 



□ Rob25 / Member/ Member # 5989 
Posted 28 November 2002 06:12 PM 

I wonder if Nintendo will come to regret its current i 
storage medium as much as it did with the N64? 



□ Keith @gamesTM / Administrator/ Member # 777 
Posted 28 November 2002 07:39 PM 

I don't think it will. The main problem with using cartridges 
that third parties couldn't afford to use them. That isn't reall 



'WE NEVER COMPLAINED ABOUT PAYING £50 FOR 
DONKEY KONG COUNTRY BACK IN 1994. SOME 
OF US QUITE HAPPILY GOT N64 TUROK FOR £80" 



□ Rob25 / Member/ Member # 5989 
Posted 28 November 2002 07:46 PM 



was trying to get at the fact that the GC is the only console that 
doesn't play DVDs and what effect this would have on GC console 



□ Keith@gamesTM / Administrator/ Member # 777 
Posted 28 November 2002 08:10 PM 

Nintendo's line-up is individual enough to appeal to a different 
audience than that of PS2. Xbox is aimed directly at Sony's 
customers and, as such, offers a fairly similar gaming experience 
Xbox has plenty of exclusives, though many of them don't stand 
out as much as those on GameCube. But many of then 
games so ifs inevitable that Xbox will increase its marko.. o. ... ... 






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